October 6, 2022

Stop spending money on entertainment venues; spend it on teachers – The Virginian-Pilot

Read Time:4 Minute, 44 Second

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer is my mayor and Virginia Beach City Council members are my council members. They work for me as elected official and work on my and my fellow city residents’ behalf, serving our needs.

There is no logical reason to spend tens of millions of dollars of citizens’ hard-earned wealth on continued corporate welfare in the hope that a new venue in the tourist district will someday increase quality of life, additional business and tax revenues for our city (enough to offset that initial investment).

That is malarkey, and they should be ashamed of themselves.

If they and their cohorts could ponder throwing tens of millions away on another concert venue, why aren’t they spending that money on the citizens? We need more, and better paid teachers. We need better maintained roads. We need more and better public transportation. We need more and effective water and flood control infrastructure. We need bike lanes along all former rail lines, trails, parks and recreation center improvements. We need to strengthen and update our electrical supply grid. We need to design and fund a climate change mitigation plan.

Make businesses invest in their own business plan, and it will help to ensure their success. Spend our tax money to make our city even better, and businesses, new citizens and opportunities will come to us. Stop making rich people richer with my money, and work toward making living in Virginia Beach better.

Louis Partida, Virginia Beach

Re “Portsmouth will honor hip-hop native Missy Elliott with a street named after the 4-time Grammy winner” (Aug. 9): A street named after Missy Elliott? The reasoning used by City Council members over the objections of a Portsmouth resident using Missy Elliott for a street name was met with everything from downright silliness to scorn. The same laws that protect Missy Elliott’s rap music from censorship are the same laws that protect people who publish pornography, but I do not want to bring either into my home. Lewd lyrics in music or lewd videos are not something to encourage a child to grow up on. Most parents shield their children from such things because they are just dirty. You certainly have a right to listen or watch anything you want that is protected under the law, but so much of the rap music is just nasty. The filthy language and the N-word pouring out of cars that go by is terrible.

Don’t make the citizens of Portsmouth look dirty. It is really hard to go anywhere to keep your family from hearing the constant barrage of profanity. The reference to the national anthem using the word “slave” is so far removed from the discussion at hand that it would only be brought up by a council member who has caused more racial division in Portsmouth than anyone I know. Then again, he gets elected using that platform.

Bruce Carothers, Portsmouth

Re “Gov. Youngkin criticized after calling on teachers with LGBTQ students to tell parents” (Aug. 11): Yes, Gov. Glenn Youngkin, parents matter, especially to their children. It is precisely because parents matter so much that their children find it difficult to tell them about their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is very common for young people to emerge gradually, telling friends and trusted adults, and working up to share the truth about themselves with their parents. Sadly, some young people have good reason to fear the outcome of revealing themselves. But for most, it’s not a fear of physical abuse or becoming homeless, it’s the age-old question, “Do you still love me?”

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Nothing good will come of forcing teachers to insert themselves into this family relationship and short-circuit the student’s growth. Tattling on a student’s innermost self-understanding as though it were a case of truancy stigmatizes the student and implies that the parents should disapprove. Moreover, word will spread and students will stop confiding in teachers about LGBTQ status, or any other sensitive subject. Schools will, in effect, return to the days of, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” And parents will be less likely to learn what’s on their child’s mind because revealing it will appear more risky.

In contrast, I have heard parents say they were glad their child found support and was eventually able to tell them without being coerced or outed. Parents do matter, so I wish the governor would listen to the parents of gay and transgender children and learn what they really want.

Carolyn Caywood, Virginia Beach

Re “Downtown Norfolk business owners chaffed by city manager’s plan to crack down on bars after shooting” (Aug. 13): I don’t think it is fair for the city to punish every restaurant and bar on Granby Street because of the gunfights at certain establishments. The shootings happened at places that are known as late night “clubs,” not a restaurant or bar. They are the businesses that need to be taking the blame and facing the consequences. Long time establishments like Baxter’s sports bar, Freemason Abbey Restaurant, 219 Bistro, 456 Fish, Grace O’Malley’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, Brick Anchor Brew House and others have never had any issues.

It certainly isn’t just at late night clubs, folks can get gunned down around 6 p.m. at MacArthur Center.

Maybe go after the bad guys with illegal guns who just want to shoot someone to make themselves feel big and strong.

Sherry Lankford, Norfolk



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