Consider small business tax relief

I am requesting that Lynchburg and the surrounding jurisdictions waive property taxes on equipment and vehicles that are idle or not in service due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Municipalities and taxing authorities can weather this economic disaster better than small businesses. Together, municipalities and small businesses can find ways to financially overcome this disaster.

One way, is a financial partnership that is bi-directional. This can be accomplished by local government providing economic relief to small businesses by not taxing equipment and vehicles that are not in operation.

By placing a moratorium on property taxes, equipment taxes, tool taxes, is just and it is the least municipalities can do for the backbone of our society, the small business, that are shut down and suffering under this economic disaster.

JOSHUA PRATT

BRT Transportation

Lynchburg

I’m done with Democrats

The entire Democratic tribe is playing the most egregious political games. The impact is not one of political points or posturing like a child trying to get their own way — regardless of the costs; instead, it is a game of life and death for Virginians, Americans and the entire world. They have no ethics, no morals, no honesty and no concern or compassion for any of humanity except their own selfishness.

Yes, I am especially referring to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The only recourse I have is to oppose all Democrats at the ballot box and influence my fellow Virginians through campaigning for the Republican opponents. I will never vote for a Democrat in my life.

MAURICE HICKSON

Forest

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Pleas from writers to Falwell, LU continue

Loves LU, but they’re wrong

While I am a fan of Liberty University and the contributions the school has made to its students and to the local community, I do not understand why President Jerry Falwell Jr. is welcoming back students.

Coronavirus is not the flu and does not have a cure, much less a treatment. Given the urgent situations in the United States, the lack of protective gear and ventilators and the upward totals for those infected, we don’t need more students welcomed back into the local community. Other than international students, I can’t believe it’s business as usual.

And sorry, sir, but I am pretty sure you are not an epidemiologist, otherwise you would know better. Wishing us all the best.

BILL GRAHAM

Forest

An alumna and a city resident

I am writing to you as both an ashamed alumna of Liberty University and a concerned resident of the city of Lynchburg.

I strongly object to Jerry Falwell Jr.’s decision to reopen the campus to students. This is a grave danger to our community, as college students, and Liberty students in particular, seem to think the threat of COVID-19 does not impact them.

I work in health care and specifically with the elderly population who are directly impacted by the threat of COVID-19. Inviting these students back, who have been on spring break all over the country, is irresponsible and an insult to this community.

It’s clear that Falwell only cares about one thing: the financial bottom line. If he doesn’t have to refund tuition and room and board money, he comes out a winner. It’s appalling.

KRISTIE TAYLOR

Lynchburg

Irresponsibility abounds

Jerry Falwell Jr. is irresponsible, reckless and deceitful. The Liberty University Board of Trustees are irresponsible, reckless sheep. The parents who allowed LU students to return to campus are irresponsible, reckless and willfully ignorant. The students who returned are displaying what they’ve learned at home and school. The on-campus contract services company Sodexo is irresponsible, reckless and caring only for their bottom line.

These four entities have banded together of their own free will to display a childish “you’re not the boss of me” attitude toward Gov. Ralph Northam call for all Virginia residents to act responsibly in their communities.

The faculty, staff, Lynchburg community and, ironically, themselves are all being put at a heightened risk level of catching and/or spreading the coronavirus because of their collective carelessness. Who cares the check cleared.

Let’s be clear: Falwell and the trustees couldn’t care less, except for how many dollars they can keep for themselves. Refunds, refunds ... we don’t give no stinking refunds! Falwell routinely tells us LU’s pockets are bulging but always room to stuff another buck in there I guess.

Mayor Treney Tweedy and City Manager Bonnie Svrcek accepted that LU would act in good faith and keep its word only to have students on campus with nowhere else to go like international students. But once again, Falwell and the LU Board of Trustees proved they cannot be trusted. Their word is no good. They are not honest people. “Show me the money” is all they know ... and the community at large be damned.

Personally, I would hope the students who have returned will think more maturely than the childish LU president and his always compliant board and heed the governor’s call for personal responsibility.

Hope springs eternal, they say, but unfortunately willful ignorance does too. Right, Falwell?

WALTER DANIELS

Lynchburg

Don’t make Lynchburg a ‘hotspot’

Dear Lynchburg, you don’t know it yet, but you’re about to change rapidly.

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is allowing and encouraging students to return from campus after their spring break. They are coming from every corner of the country, bringing with them, undoubtably, COVID-19. This is not what other colleges are doing. This will impact Lynchburg terribly.

The students who return are those who are not heeding the precautionary measures of social distancing. They are the ones who consider their college experience to be more important than people’s lives. They undoubtably will enter our stores and public spaces. As young people, more likely than not, they will have mild symptoms or be asymptomatic. But they will be spreaders. Lynchburg has a robust elderly population.

Lynchburg and Central Virginia are not yet a hotspot. However, as these students return, it is only a short matter of time before the very limited number of ICU beds we have are full. Until we are begging for the creation of temporary hospital beds. Until we run out of masks and Personal Protective Equipment for our healthcare workers. Until our doctors have to make the choice between ten patients of who gets a ventilator. Until our churches are full of coffins.

Look at Italy. Look at where they are. Look at almost every other college in Virginia. Look at what they’re doing to prevent bringing back the virus into their local communities. This is insane.

LU should not be allowing these students to return. The city government should not be allowing these students to return.

We can make choices now to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Please. If you are over 65 or immunocompromised, do not leave your home. Even if you aren’t, please practice social distancing. But even these measures aren’t enough to save our community without bold action to ensure our community is protected.

In order to not have these students come back, we must appeal to Falwell and the school’s board of trustees, or the Health Department can make the determination that this would be a public health risk. Please join me in voicing your concerns within our community.

TAYLOR ROBERTSON

Lynchburg

Protect the most vulnerable

Dear President Jerry Falwell Jr.: Please, close Liberty University.

Doesn’t your Bible exhort you to look after the most innocent and vulnerable? Or would you rather indulge your hubris and self-importance?

PACO PINTO

Bedford

Decision isn’t pro-life

I was shocked Monday morning when I read the article in The News & Advance the return to campus of Liberty University students from spring break. As was pointed out, this action is the opposite of what other area colleges are taking.

The two primary directives regarding COVID-19 precautions from local, state and federal officials have been to practice social distancing and to wash your hands more frequently. I’m fairly confident that the returning students are able to all practice effective hand washing. I’m at a loss as to how they will practice social distancing being thrown back into dormitories. It would be naive to think they will remain on campus. It would also be naive to think that their presence will have no impact on our community, as well as the medical supports in our community even though they “have an old hotel” to use for quarantines.

LU President Jerry Falwell Jr. appears to have no regard for the local residents of Lynchburg and the surrounding area. Some of his students may be carriers of the virus without having symptoms and could expose our elderly and those who compromised immune systems. Worse than that, his students may already have the virus, not know it and expose other students, staff and faculty.

Within two weeks we should begin to see whether or not the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rises disproportionate to our population due to Falwell wanting his students to “be with their friends.” Shame on you. I understood you are pro-life.

CINDEE PLETKE

Lynchburg

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