For me, sports was a sanctuary

I think we all felt that gut punch when we heard the news about Kobe Bryant, his daughter and the passengers aboard his helicopter. It still feels surreal. As a life-long basketball lover (and player), I felt it, too. I’ve cried as Kobe’s friends and teammates have cried on TV, as late night hosts and news anchors cried, at the images that display just how much he loved his girls, how he was a much-needed champion of women’s sports, how Gigi had her whole life in front of her to leave her own legacy, over all the lives lost, over what it must have felt like to find out from the media that your loved ones suddenly passed away, that it may have been avoidable.

I’ve cried over it all. It is just so tragic.

Seeing Gianna’s relationship with her dad reminded me a little of my own. I struggled to connect with my father growing up because he was often distant, stressed and tied up with work. He was a talented and decorated varsity athlete and musician. Although he was incredibly busy, he always made time to pass along his wisdom and knowledge of sports to his kids. And he never ever missed our games. He lit up when he taught me how to shoot a free throw under pressure, how to play defense, how to pitch a strike, how to never miss a fly ball. He came alive when it came to sports.

We didn’t have a lot in common when I was growing up — that came much later on — but the one thing we shared together was sports. And though he’s gone, I’ll always cherish those years of watching and playing sports with him.

This week reminded me that sports was always more to me than just competing. Sports was my sanctuary growing up, and it also taught me at a very young age how to love and connect with my father.

And for that I’m forever grateful.

APRIL LIKINS

Forest

The world we leave our kids

I want to thank Rep. Ben Cline for his Jan. 23 town hall meeting in Lynchburg. I was happy to hear him say there that he will make the hard choices necessary to protect Social Security, not just for those working today, but also for his 7-year-old daughter. It’s the right thing to do. We shouldn’t spend away our children’s future.

We face a similar choice on climate change because our current approach is spending away our children’s future. Cline is right to be concerned about the costs of solutions, but we should recognize that inaction is the most costly option. Our choice is between either responsibly reducing our own emissions now or leaving our children to deal with the much greater costs of a warming planet. Our children are depending on us to do the right thing.

Fortunately, we have a choice that both protects our children’s future and minimizes costs. The bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR763, puts a slowly increasing price on carbon and returns funds collected directly to citizens. Using the free-market, it provides the lowest-cost path for reducing emissions. As an added benefit, it will enable a strong expansion of the nuclear power industry, creating many good paying jobs here in Central Virginia.

Because he supports doing the right thing for our children’s future, Cline should cosponsor the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. After all, in order to enjoy their Social Security, our children will need climate security even more.

STEVEN SELBY

Lynchburg

Such a waste of resources

Just think of all the new elementary, middle and high schools and even colleges that could be built, equipped and staffed with all the time and money that is being spent on the Senate trial against President Trump?

Maybe you can think of wonderful innovative things that should be built with government money: new bridges, infrastructure, better roads and highways.

Haven’t we better things to do with our time and money than a trial against our president?

I will be so glad when our government in Washington can get back to doing something positive and uplifting for this country.

CAROLLYN LEE PEERMAN

Lynchburg

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