Letters to the editor

Posted: February 10, 2014

Mall events should be more inclusive

We, the executive board of the Old Town Winchester Business Association, are writing to express our concerns about the city-sponsored events of 2013. Your article, “City events program loses money in 2013,” published on Jan. 29, recounts the reported results of seven events sponsored by the Old Town Development Board and produced by Full Circle Marketing.

While we very much appreciate the city’s investment in improving the Old Town walking mall, we suggest and encourage that the events in 2014 be more inclusive of our diverse community, free, and stretch the entire length of the mall.

We respectfully disagree that goals to bring “more people downtown” and particularly a “younger crowd” were met as a result of the seven events. We question the reported attendance of 1,200 to 5,000 people per event. The pattern established by Full Circle Marketing in making these events gated, adult-oriented, and ticketed caused many regular patrons of the Old Town Mall to avoid downtown during these events and did not noticeably increase the number of out-of-town patrons.

The article also reports the substantial financial loss of these events. As taxpayers, we are concerned that $25,000 in tax dollars is so easily lost on city events that do not benefit our local businesses. During each of these seven events, our businesses were consistently negatively impacted by decreased foot traffic and lower than regular sales. It should be noted, a number of privately funded and managed events, were free, family-oriented, and open to the public in 2013 and were successful for both the organizers and the businesses without burdening the city.

In closing, we sincerely hope the Old Town Development Board and Full Circle Marketing change the format of their events, offering more family-friendly, non-gated events at no charge to the public. We ask the city to continue its logistical, promotional, and financial support of inclusive events which invite and welcome a wider radius of tourists to Old Town Winchester. We look forward to the many events and programs in Old Town Winchester in 2014.

Christine A. Patrick

The Winchester Book Gallery

President

Old Town Winchester Business Association

His wrath is not slack

Just a short note to any woman who may be contemplating aborting (mudering) her unborn child or anyone else who condones and votes for it: May I challenge you to look in the mirror and thank God for giving you a mother who did not choose to get rid of you in such a hideous manner?

God knows who you are, and His wrath is not slack when it comes to punishing anyone who harms one of his precious little ones. Can’t say you weren’t warned! Don’t believe in God? Oops!

Marie Franklin

Frederick County

Music contemplative, removed distractions

I’d like to respond to Theodore Day’s Open Forum (Feb. 4) regarding the Community Fast that was held last month. He presumed the “worship music” that was being used in our corporate gatherings was “modern Christian rock . . . and the like” which he scrutinized as “appealing to the emotions” with lyrics that “avoid the stronger points in the Bible and promote obsolete, irrelevant, religious traditions not of Scriptural origin.”

I’d like to clarify that this was not the music used during our times of reflection and worship. We specifically listened to soft instrumental music with no lyrics for the purpose of quieting our hearts and listening to the Living Word speak to our hearts.

As stated in the original article (Jan. 17), our goal was to remove distractions in order to hear God more clearly and pray more effectively. Thankfully, that’s exactly what happened as many participants, including myself, received deeper understanding of God's Word and fresh revelation about God’s heart of love for us and this community. It was not simply clearing our minds and hearts of distractions, but filling our hearts and minds with Him.

We experienced Psalm 46:10, which states: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Perhaps if Mr. Day, a self-described “non-religious, emotion-deficient Vulcan,” can try this practice along with his “objective and scholarly study of the Bible,” he might find himself closer to God’s heart than he thinks.

Wanda Alger

Fast participant

Winchester

Speak out against the Carmeuse kilns

The Frederick County Board of Supervisors has approved a waiver to allow Carmeuse Lime and Stone to build two 193-foot-high kilns capable of emitting 726 million pounds of greenhouse gases and tons of other pollutants per year.

Carmeuse is located across the street from Stonewall Elementary School and borders Clear Brook Park. The Air Quality index for this area is already one of the highest in Virginia. Take a look for yourself on the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) web site: vadeq.tx.sutron.com/cgi-bin/aqi_rpt.pl.

In December, I spoke before the board on behalf of the children of Stonewall Elementary, actually for all the children and residents of Frederick County. I asked the supervisors to turn down the waiver. No citizens spoke in favor of this waiver. Not one School Board member provided a voice to support the children. The Board passed the waiver 6-1.

On Jan. 30, the DEQ held a briefing in Clear Brook. They discussed the massive permit that Carmeuse applied for to fire up the kilns, and other operations. Only three people were in attendance. Notice of that briefing was announced only once on Dec, 26. Believe me, they do not want you to know about this.

There is another opportunity. The next public hearing will be held Tuesday, March 11, at 6 p.m. in the county boardroom. I hope you will participate. If you have children attending Stonewall Elementary, bring them! If you enjoy Clear Brook Park, please attend!

I would invite anyone living in Frederick County to attend this meeting. I sincerely hope our elected officials, supervisors, and School Board will come to listen and learn about this effort by Carmeuse. I believe we must tell DEQ and our elected officials this is not what we want for the county. We need to deny this massive permit. We have one of the highest pollution levels in the state.

If these 193-foot kilns are allowed to be fired up, you will not get a breath of fresh air. Thanks, we’ll see you there.

Mark Regan

Clear Brook

Appreciates clarity of Doughty’s stand

A few days ago I was gratified to read the Feb. 1 Open Forum from Charles W. Doughty spelling out the betrayal of the majority of persons of faith in Virginia by the state’s attorney general, Mark Herring, and his boss, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, as they set out to overturn the Virginia ban on same-sex marriage.

I was gratified because of the bold nature of the article and the absolute clarity with which Mr. Doughty presented the situation that pits the cowardly acts of Mr. Herring and his kind, who did not have the courage to run on a platform of “let’s destroy family values” (i.e., “let’s promote sodomy ”) but instead hid behind the euphemisms of women’s choice (read “abortion”), gay rights (read “homosexual”), and tolerance for all (read “tolerate any immoral act regardless of what it does to our citizens . . . especially our children who are trying to figure out their place in our society”).

I was gratified because his statement of the “unnatural nature” of homosexuality (as is murder) was so clear that it left no way for anyone to stand in the middle of the issue. Clearly, anyone supporting the attorney general and the governor are now fully in support of the homosexual lifestyle (have to call it for what it is) and have only themselves to blame when God finally says “Enough is enough.”

DALE CARPENTER

Linden