Letters to the editor

Posted: October 4, 2013

Congrats, Sacred  Heart Academy

Congratulations to Sacred Heart Academy for being designated by the Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence!

This is an award given this year to only 50 private schools in the nation along with 236 public schools nationwide. The Winchester area is fortunate to have a school of this caliber right here in our midst.

My husband Bob and I came to Winchester 17 years ago. One of the primary reasons we chose Winchester as our home was the availability of a Catholic school for our third-grade daughter.

Sacred Heart Academy was struggling at that time. We worked hard, along with others who valued a Catholic education, to keep the school open. We are so pleased and happy that today parents still have this option available to them, the option of a solidly academic education where virtue is taught and Christ is the center.

Joanne Seale

Frederick County

Praying for a city  ‘pocket park’

I’m looking forward to the day when 414 S. Braddock St. is home to a city pocket park. What a relief it will be when, like the coverage of the “Bates/Gavis Motel” slowly slipping to the inside pages of The Star, the “disaster” quickly disappears from our view. Twenty-one days plus 21 days — can’t wait to sit on the manicured grounds on a nice park bench looking at the bronze plaque commemorating what “used to be here.”

Oh, what a pleasure, relief, and treat it will be. The day can’t get here quickly enough. Tick, tock.

Rick Young

Frederick County

Good man’s death  goes unrecognized

This week, conservatively speaking, thousands of men, women, and children mourn the death of the 2013 sitting national president of Ruritan National, Dennis Clemmer, who died last Sunday evening at University Hospital in Charlottesville after a brief illness.

Many locals will remember him from the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival’s Grand Feature Parade as the man in the cowboy hat on the float with the bear. But Dennie was more than that — he was a national president busy trying to revitalize our organization.

Locally, Ruritan is strongly influential in Winchester and Frederick, Clarke, and Warren counties through their monetary support of local community service activities. It has been said that Ruritan is America's best-kept secret in most communities.

Dennie Clemmer was more than Ruritan national president — first and foremost he was a beef cattle farmer, a family man, and a community servant.

It is with great sadness that Ruritans grieve his passing, but it is more sad with nine Ruritan Clubs in the area served by this paper that not one mention of his passing is found.

Lila T. Cox

Frederick County

Turn out the Tea  Party; elect Yates

Our federal government will reopen at some point. The question now is: How much more damage will tea party Republicans do to our nation before that happens?

I tried to ask our congressman, Frank Wolf, that question, but thanks to the shutdown he’s “not taking messages.”

We see that people are being turned away from cancer treatment at the National Cancer Institute. We know that the shutdown is hurting our economy. Yet the reason for the tea partiers’ intransigence is that the law to provide health insurance to Americans who don’t have it is a success.

The state exchanges have been deluged with requests on the day that they opened. This important law will protect people who have pre-existing conditions, and it will keep people from dying just because they don’t have health insurance. Without that law, it’s now about 45,000 deaths a year — that’s inexcusable.

And for this, the tea partiers shut down our government. They don’t negotiate. They don’t deserve to govern — and they have shown that they can’t. We have the opportunity to begin to turn them out this next Election Day.

Right here in Winchester and Frederick County, a tea party candidate is running for the House of Delegates. He will say “no” to a government that works for us, the people. I urge you to vote for the candidate who will do his best to make government work for the people — Independent candidate Larry Lamar Yates.

Carol Stroebel


Hey, Harry Reid,  no ObamaCare

The majority of Americans don’t want ObamaCare. Even unions don’t want the law.

The Obama administration awarded Big Business with a delay and Congress was given a special exemption. Why? If it’s such a great law, why are they exempting themselves out of it?

Harry Reid is refusing to negotiate with House Republicans. He cares more about preserving the president’s legacy than protecting the American people. Don’t you think it’s time the government starts representing the people?

Stanley Epperley

Frederick County

Yes to Cork; no to  Wellness Center

I am writing to endorse Edith Lambert’s excellent letter (Your Views, Oct. 2) concerning closure of the Cork Street rehab pool to a number of elderly and disabled patrons who have physician’s prescriptions for water exercise. We were told to transfer to the Wellness Center after Oct. 14.

Like Mrs. Lambert, I tried the Wellness Center when it opened and found that it does not meet my needs. The Wellness Center therapy pool is shallower and cooler than the Cork Street pool. Therefore, it is not as comfortable and effective. Furthermore, I do not want to use the track, the equipment, or the land classes — only the pool, so the $48 fee is not a good value for people like me.

Just to get to the Wellness Center therapy pool is a challenge. From the handicapped parking (if I can find a space), I must traverse a large lobby, a room of exercise machines, and the length of the women’s dressing room, through a heavy nonautomatic door to reach the pool. And we are asked to come half an hour early to get a number because the classes are limited to 28 participants.

When I left the Wellness Center before, I wrote a letter explaining why it did not work for me. The response . . . was no response. Did it ever occur to Mr. Haire and the Winchester Medical Center to ask its pool therapy customers what they need and want?

No, I am not happy with the new deal. The Wellness Center is designed for people who are well and want to stay fit. It does not meet the needs of an 80-year-old with severe rheumatoid arthritis — and there are many of us who prefer to use the Cork Street pool.

Anne Legge

Frederick County