Curb pooches, drive the

limit, and trim your poison

When the weather is nice, Winchester is a lovely town to walk around. Here are some suggestions for making it even more pleasant.

Dog owners: Please pick up after your pooch. No one wants to see, smell, or step in it.

Drivers: The speed limit throughout most of town is only 25. What’s your rush? And remember, pedestrians have the right of way.

Homeowners: If you have landscaping up against the sidewalk, make sure it doesn’t encroach. No one wants a branch in their eye or a thorn in their arm. Most concerning is poison ivy. I’ve seen A LOT on Jefferson, Valley and Washington. YIKES! For those who weren’t scouts, there are resources online to help you identify and safely remove it.

Olivia Cather Winchester

Thanks, Dems, for voting GOP

A resounding “Well Done!” and “Thank You” to each of the many Frederick County residents who, having previously voted in local Democrat elections, joined the Republicans in choosing GOP candidates in the recent (April 30) local Republican election process. In doing so they helped to choose the Republican candidates for the general election in November. Those of us in Frederick County, who regularly vote as Republicans, are pleased with the help you provided.

However, please do not forget there are responsibilities that go with your vote. Remember, you signed a pledge, that by voting in a Republican election process, you agreed to support only Republican candidates in the next general election, which is in November.

The pledge specifically mentions you cannot publicly support any Democrat or Independent candidate. Doing so may have a negative effect on your ability to vote in future local elections. It would be a shame, after your generous support of Republican candidates, to learn you did not honor the pledge you were so willing to sign to qualify to participate in the Republican April 30 election process.

Margaret Hobble Frederick County

LaRock’s fearful agenda

Del. Dave LaRock, who is supposed to represent all individuals in the 33rd District in the House of Delegates, speaks to the non-discrimination policies schools for LGBT students. He is against the policies that make safe environments for LGBT students in schools because it is against his religious and moral beliefs and that LGBT students are more prone to self-harm.

First, if he presented the whole picture regarding students harming themselves, the studies do conclude this is more likely because of the stigma and discrimination they face in school. The website YOUTH.GOV states that strategies for improving mental health and preventing self-harm include: 1) Providing safe and supportive environments among family and peers; 2) enact legislation to protect the safety of LGBT students; and 3) build community awareness and capacity to understand and address stressors that LGBT students experience.

It seems to me our local schools are trying to do this, and he should support the mental-health initiatives for LGBT students, especially because they are children.

The other statement Mr. LaRock made was that the views of people who don’t support LGBT rights are more important than those who do. Back in the 1800s people espoused similar so-called moral and religious arguments opposing the abolition of slavery, and in the 1900s when women worked for equal rights.

It seems that our government representatives should be focused on making life better for all citizens, not espousing division and hate.

Karen Ridings Winchester

More adequate mental-health services a necessity

I enjoyed reading Brian Brehm’s June 3 article on Winchester’s work to create a mental health assessment facility (Northwestern Crisis Intervention Team Assessment Center).

It is so important that our local governments provide mental-health services for Virginians. A loved family member of mine has suffered with serious mental illness for all of her adult life, usually well-managed with medication. Her biggest challenge has been accessing affordable, community-based mental-health support — especially if she experiences a crisis.

But I also think our state government needs to do more to provide adequate mental health services for Virginians. For example, with a nationwide shortage of child psychiatrists (13 per 100,000 in Virginia), the Virginia Mental Health Access Program (VMAP) linking pediatricians with child psychiatrists for treatment and medication consults is an important start to help young patients, but it needs additional funding to expand statewide.

For children, early diagnosis, intervention, and treatment is literally lifesaving. We are losing children to suicide while they languish on outpatient care wait lists sometimes 400 names long.

Her strong support of mental health care is one of many reasons I’m supporting Mavis Taintor in her race to represent the 33rd District in the House of Delegates; she knows mental health care IS health care; and wants to provide state support for facilities in Western Loudoun, Frederick, and Clarke counties.

Rosemary Lawler Lucketts

Olivia Cather


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