Watershed plan vital to our future

Last week, Virginia released its final version of the Clean Water Blueprint, technically called the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan. Virginia’s plan is on track to achieve its 2025 goals, provided it accelerates efforts to reduce pollution from agricultural sources and growing urban and suburban areas, while continuing progress in the wastewater sector.

Clean water is a basic part of life. In addition to drinking water, I enjoy hiking along the Rockfish River; fishing, kayaking and swimming in Sherando Lake; and crewing a batteau on the James River.

Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration just released the final version of its plan to clean up local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. I want to thank the governor and all who have worked on this critical project.

It calls on everyone to do his part to stop pollution from entering our waterways — from homeowners to farmers to cities to wastewater treatment plants. This strong but fair plan is just what I was hoping to see. But now comes the hard part — putting it into practice. Farmers and others are willing to do their part but there must be funding for any mandates.

That’s why Northam and our state legislators must support the funding and policies needed to make healthier waterways in Virginia a reality. Countless Virginians like me who depend on clean water will be grateful.



Incomplete coverage of Camille

I was very disappointed that there were no articles in the insert, “Hurricane Camile — 50 Years Later,” by anybody but caucasian people. Were there no people of color to interview or is it that there were no people of color other then Robert Loving living in the county during Camille?

As far as I am concerned you all get an “F” for journalistic reporting.



A teacher and a friend

I’m deeply saddened to hear of the loss of my friend and former English teacher from Nelson County High School, Ema Lou Bruguiere.

To be perfectly honest, when I became a senior, I did not look forward to being her student due to her reputation as being both a stern and strict instructor. My parents would attest to the fact that neither of these qualities attracted me at the age of 17.

From September to the end of November, English class had about as much appeal to me as a daily root canal. Then tragedy struck. One cold and wet Friday night, during a high school football game, I broke a bone at the base of my skull. After weeks of surgery and rehab/recovery, I returned to class in what I felt was an insurmountable task of catching up on school. That very same English teacher that I had so dreaded early on, was the most patient and understanding of the entire school staff — an act that I will not soon forget.

After she retired, I would see her from time to time at trail rides and local outings — often going out of my way to greet her, some 30-plus years after she had given me her final grade.

She often said that I “beat to a different drum than the rest of my siblings.” Perhaps. But maybe that applies better to her as I can only imagine, deep in the heart of every instructor, their lives a desire to not just teach but to leave an inerasable bookmark in the life of their student. And in this case, just maybe, one of those students to go as far as to eulogize them upon their passing.

Mission accomplished, Ema Lou. Mission accomplished.



Our unstable president

Wow, even though I, like the rest of us, have become a bit jaded to the stupidity that can come flowing out of Washington, last week became a survival contest. I almost got washed away.

Our excuse for a president went after almost everyone from his own Federal Reserve chair to Democratic Jewish voters to the prime minister of Denmark. His abrupt cancellation of a Denmark visit when they labeled his plan to buy Greenland absurd earned him the “narcissistic fool” label. Is he realizing the economy he has created with his tax breaks for the rich, trade wars and a massive bout of deficit spending is headed for recession? His fight with the Federal Reserve chairman is centered around his desire for even “cheaper” money at a time when the federal deficit is projected to be more than $1 trillion in 2020. Why anyone presently buys our bonds is beyond me. I guess as long as one U.S. government agency buys them from another U.S. government agency the Ponzi-like scheme can go on.

It was a bit amusing to watch Friday’s stock market action as our unstable president threatened to tax U.S. consumers even more with higher tariffs on Chinese goods then headed off to France where he can pick fights with the rest of the world leaders. It was kinda surprising that the Dow only closed down 623 points.

The House of Representatives seems to be impotent in dealing with the craziness coming out of the White House while in the Senate Moscow Mitch McConnell and Leningrad Lindsey Graham keep that body in Vladimir Putin’s pocket. The media feeds on it, and President Trump is happy to keep throwing them bafflegab. The lunacy in his words hides the disaster his policies have become. The one question for all the Trump supporters is, “Would you have this man as your plumber, your mechanic, your financial advisor, your dog walker?” It seems to me that all he is able to do is spread his verbal manure over the serious problems the world faces. Yet you believe he should have the nuclear codes. Why?

And speaking of the media, Sarah Saunders has now been hired by Fox News, Trump’s propaganda arm. No surprise there.

While the Amazon’s rainforest burns, the Democrats won’t have a climate change debate. They don’t want to disturb their fossil fuel donors or earn my vote. No matter that or Trump’s advisors wanting to label it a “niche subject,” climate change is the one problem which we must address and solve to avoid extinction. The rest may be important but they aren’t in the same league.

I was sad to see that David Koch passed away last week. This man through his industrial management and political influence did tremendous damage to the planet. I wish he had lived for decades more to observe the results of that damage. I trust there is a special place in hell for the greediest of people like him. Maybe the fires are kept hot by burning dollar bills or the greenback is all you get to eat. I started my boycott of Koch products years ago, and his escape will not stop it.

Finally, we did note that the Town of Amherst sold the future and their neighbors in Nelson County down the river when they gave the terrorists at Dominion Resources access to a pipeline staging area for a measly $300,000. When we need to do better, they failed miserably.



The stark choice we face

Some 200-plus years ago, a people declared their independence from royal rule and sought to establish a nation to be governed by its citizens. The initial concept was a confederacy of sovereign states. This approach lacked the structure to address common defense and interstate issues.

Thus, a federalist form of governing was created combining two different political responsibilities in one nation. The federal government provided the common defense and interstate relationship capacity while the several states retained their sovereign rights. The citizenry rallied to the “Stars and Stripes” and proudly affirmed their allegiance to their country. The national anthem was sung with pride.

We, as a people, allowed the institutions of the federal government, intended to debate the pro’s and con’s of federal legislation and limit federal authority, to become self-appointed institutions of power. Our Founders’ underlying principle, within a federalist concept of national governance by the people, was through the political power of the states.

The states are now mere lackeys of the national political parties. We find ourselves in the midst of “personal attack politics” and dangerous “antifa” mobs abusing the right to express their opinions. State governmental institutions are deliberately impeding the federal government’s responsibility to defend the nation from international threat. Today, the symbols of the nation are abused and “We the people” cower.

The 2016 election expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the federal government and exposed the elite establishment character of Congress, the absence of “state” representation in the Senate and the “Deep State” corrupt power in the executive branch.

The American people have a choice: to believe in the underlying character of the president to return the nation to the principles and heritage of our Founders or abandon them and accept nationwide authoritarian rule.



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