Westmoreland News

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Letters to the Editor, week of Jan. 23

Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

VDOT review is not acceptable, endangers drivers

On December 5, 2012, I nearly lost my life in a horrible car accident in Westmoreland County at the intersection of Hall’s Store and DeAtley’s Garage also known as Route 205/Route 628 intersection within several miles of the Colonial Beach town limits. The Westmoreland News printed my letter alerting local readers of my concerns with the failure to provide adequate public safety for Colonial Beach and neighboring Westmoreland County residents who must travel this dangerous road every day.
On January 10, 2013, I attended the Colonial Beach Town Council meeting and spoke during the Public Comments section. I was interviewed by Rebecca Barnabi from the Free Lance Star telling her that something had to be done to hold VDOT accountable for protecting the public highway safety of residents in this area.
I have been told by two Westmoreland Board of Supervisors, Woody Hynson and Larry Roberson who represent the districts impacted by this dangerous intersection, that they fully support my concerns on having a stop light put at that intersection. Both men have acknowledged that the intersection has been a problem for years. Both men are concerned about protecting the highway public safety of their constituents.
I ask that Val Foulds and Karen Lewis in their roles of disseminating email information to the CB Mayor and Town Council and the members of the Westmoreland Board of Supervisors to please provide copies of this email as soon as possible so I will not have to hand deliver this information to every member of both groups.
I now have a copy of the accident report. I have requested accident pictures showing the demolishment of my car, although having to view those pictures will force me to relive the trauma of that accident.
The website, www.city-data.com/County/Westmoreland_County-VA.html on pages 24-25 of a 26 page report compares with two graphs and multiple categories for each graph, the accident fatalities of Westmoreland County versus the State of Virginia average. The graphs show yearly data from 1975-2009. I am still searching for statistics for 2010-2012.
I challenge Dave Brown [Northern Neck Residency Administrator of VDOT] and VDOT to look at this data and then tell me and the taxpayers of my area that VDOT is doing a good job!
To Dave Brown and his boss, Quintin D. Elliott, your [review of conditions at the intersection] are not acceptable! In my opinion, you both are passing the buck and not doing your jobs. You leave me no choice but to take this issue to the Governor’s office. I challenge you to publicly advertise a town meeting to be held in the Colonial Beach Town Hall where you will have the opportunity to hear citizens tell you how they feel about that intersection.
In summary, do your job! You are not the keeper of the Treasury. The taxpayers are your real boss. Managers who fail to do their jobs in the real world get replaced.
Jean Staples
Potomac Shores



Make police presence mandatory

I was glad to see a squad car at every school after the Newtown tragedy. I hope this becomes standard operating procedure. We don’t need to give Ms. Wagstaff a gun (thank God for her students!) or another member of the faculty or staff if we have a police presence in each school everyday.
Why not go a step further and have the deputies rotating, as well as teaching short classes and seminars at all the schools?  Think of the positive impact of having the deputies coming in and talking to the students about anti-drug, gun ownership, the court system, the impact of breaking the law, the devastating effects of incarceration, and other facets of Government and Citizenship.
“Hold on!,” you say, “These are cops, not teachers, mentors,and coaches!”
I disagree. Cops are all of the above. We just don’t take enough advantage of their good-will skills when it comes to our students.
Next question: We’ll need more cops. How would we pay for such a luxury?
That’s why we have such a wise and beneficent Board of Supervisors, whose picture was taken along with other dignitaries symbolically digging the hole for our new judicial complex. Surely, there must be some money somewhere to help prevent our students from seeing the inside of that complex without wearing handcuffs and a jumpsuit.
Introducing law enforcement personnel to our students early and regularly would be a great start.

Scott Duprey