Open Forum: Stop Millwood spin

Posted: January 2, 2013

This article is in response to an Open Forum submitted by Marjorie Lewis. It appeared in the Star on Sept. 25, 2012.

Her article states that City Council should be congratulated for voting to give a portion of Millwood to Shenandoah University. Au contraire, it’s Mayor Liz Minor and Councilman Evan Clark who deserve congratulations for standing with the people in this area, and voting against this transfer.

Mrs. Lewis says that students care about how attractive the entrance to the campus would appear, and that could help sway them to attend SU.

Here’s what students care about: late-morning classes, semester exams, frat parties, and how the guys can smuggle beer into their dorm rooms (and all that important stuff). By the way, if Millwood is closed, nobody, including locals and visitors, will see the campus because they will be headed off to “Malfunction Junction.”

This article goes on to say that Millwood Avenue is unattractive, dangerous, contributes to “Malfunction Junction,” and lies in a flood plain — none of which are true, and we’re getting tired of hearing that same old spin.

Let’s look at the facts: On a 1-to-10 attractive scale, Millwood gets about a nine. It’s probably the safest road in that area. It most certainly does not contribute to “Malfunction Junction.” In fact, it serves to mitigate the problem, and only a small section lies in the 100-year flood plain — but then so does a small part of Jubal Early, so it’s a moot point. So there you have it, just the facts!

Will the Commonwealth Transportation Board approve the transfer? Let’s hope not, but then SU as a hot line to the CTB (the former president of Shenandoah University served as a member of the CTB), and we the people do not.

It is not my intention to denigrate or pick a fight with SU. It is a fine university and a great asset to the City of Winchester. It has international recognition, a tribute to the administration and faculty.

I do think, however, that closing such a vital artery into this city does not make good common sense, and would be a serious mistake never to be corrected.

Robert Wills is a resident of Winchester.