2013-08-21 / Opinions


Keep the pressure on July Fourth shooter

Thank you for your continuing coverage of the Fourth of July shooting at Brandermill.

Let’s not forget that the shooter was probably not celebrating his Second Amendment rights by himself. It’s much more likely there were witnesses. And if those witnesses plan on spending the rest of their lives “protecting” the shooter from the consequences of his action, they should also keep their mouths shut about “family values,” “the rule of law” and that quaint idea (I don’t remember where it comes from) about the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If a parent and child cannot go watch a fireworks display without fear of being hit by a stray bullet, there’s not much point talking about liberty and happiness.

Perhaps one of the witnesses would like to write you an anonymous letter explaining why he or she feels no moral compunction to come forward. We can already guess why the shooter doesn’t feel anything.

Stuart Nixon

Letter was insensitive

I read with mouth agape the letter written in the [July 31] Observer decrying the releasing of balloons at a memorial service as hazardous to wildlife and a “cruel” way to memorialize loved ones. A young child was tragically killed by a falling bullet on Independence Day, and his family and friends are grieving.

How insensitive to voice such an opinion mere days later. If you want to write in about pollution, write about the thousands of cups and cans and plastic bags that dot our landscape everywhere we look when driving through the county, not a small handful of rubber balloons.

I sincerely hope the letter submitted was not read by any family or friends of the boy, so that their memory of the balloon service will remain a beautiful one.

Evan Bisharat

Lower proffers mean higher taxes?

Chesterfield voters: pay attention. Our supervisors are diligently struggling to balance the county budget – not an easy task. They are asking us to vote for a new meals tax and for two large (seemingly worthwhile) bond issues. And we may face an increase in our real estate tax rate.

At the same time, a well-organized group of developers is asking our supervisors to decrease or eliminate proffers on new homes. Something seems wrong here – developers pay less while residents pay more. A couple of years ago, developers were enduring hard times (as were most of us); thus, their emotional plea for a break. But the real estate market is heating up big time, and new developments lead to the need for expensive new roads, schools and infrastructure that we will be asked to pay for.

One other factor: With decreased or eliminated proffers, developers will reduce prices and/or see increased profits. If prices are lowered, residents selling existing homes will have to lower their asking prices to remain competitive. So our taxes are going to go up, our resale values are going to go down while developers get a break. Now is not the time to reduce or eliminate proffers.

Who is your supervisor looking out for? Pay attention, taxpayers. Let’s hope the supervisors do the right thing for us.

Tom Hoekstra

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