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Letters for Oct. 19: Virginia Beach must share more info about the fatal shooting of Pharrell’s cous

Leadership change

The Virginia Beach City Council has made a big mistake that I think is too big to fix. Before Pharrell Williams came to town, spring break in Virginia Beach was a tense standoff between African American college students and police. Then Williams’ Something in the Water became a three-day love fest for all to enjoy. Everyone thought it would last for years, but then came the March 26 shooting death of Donovan Lynch, Williams’ cousin, by a beach police officer.

The City Council, city manager and police chief did not want to face the hard reality of dealing with the community, so they did not reveal the officer’s name or many details about the incident. They simply passed the investigation off to Virginia State Police.

You would think they would have learned something from all the police shootings of African Americans in this country. Hiding information and not engaging with the community makes matters worse, and people begin to think that the police are hiding something. The result is that Williams’ Something in the Water will no longer be held. It is too late to change what was done, but not too late to hold people accountable. I believe the city manager and police chief should be fired, and people be brought in who can handle the job.

David M. Grochmal, Virginia Beach PAID POST What Is This? These 44 Gadgets Are The Best Releases Of 2021

‘ Good governance ’

The U.S. is a big country, and I could have settled in any number of states. Having family throughout the country, the choice took some investigation. If I wanted great weather, I’d have chosen California. If I wanted to avoid income taxes, I’d have chosen Florida. If I wanted to avoid sales tax, I’d have chosen Delaware. If I wanted to avoid high housing costs and real estate taxes, I’d have chosen South Carolina. After some contemplation I realized the weather and costs were not my focus. So why Virginia? Simply stated — good governance. Virginia offered high quality education, outstanding public safety and overall sound government. Virginia never made headlines for scandal and corruption.

My, have things changed. I watched in embarrassment as Virginia became a laughingstock after our governor’s yearbook page had a photograph of someone in blackface. I cringed when Richmond businesses were torched during riots. And I’m aghast now at Virginia’s absolute dereliction of basic governance. Virginia settled a federal class-action lawsuit in which the state’s agency that administers unemployment benefits was accused of delays. The Virginia Parole Board violated state laws and knowingly released dangerous felons. Our mental hospitals lack capacity to accept new patients. Academic assessments show that our public schools failed abysmally at educating our neediest students.

How did we get here? The only answer I can discern is Democratic governance. These failures happened recently, and they happened quickly — under Democratic leadership. We can do better. Please join me in voting for our entire Republican ticket this fall. Let’s restore good governance to Virginia.

- Linda Lane, Williamsburg

Use experts

Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe recently stirred some controversy when he stated that parents shouldn’t tell schools what to teach. I’m sure the majority of teachers agree with him. While parents inarguably have the vitally important responsibility of maintaining a supportive home environment, K-12 teachers are trained professionals in education pedagogy, and most parents are not.

On the other hand, all parents have been to school. I guess familiarity breeds a sense of expertise. The rationale that people unfamiliar with the required level of expertise can and should weigh in on various policies extends to other fields as well.

Sports coaches: Guys played sports back in the day, and they were pretty good too.

Election officials: Former President Donald Trump says he is incapable of losing an election — or a golf match. Rigged.

Epidemiologists: Taking a vaccine without a long track record is risky, sorry Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Climate scientists: They are either incompetent or conspiratorial. Recycling is green enough.

Pentagon brass: Hold up, we’re not crazy. Laymen questioning the judgment of experienced generals, admirals, etc. is never going to happen.

- David Meyerholz, Virginia Beach


Everyone has agreed that the U.S. military has the ability and the will to fight any adversary on the planet, that is of course with proper intelligence and leadership, which seem to be missing as of late.

We ran from Afghanistan like puppies from a fight. Despite this, 5,000 ground forces were there with Air Force support to evacuate thousands and thousands of desperate Afghans, some of whom might not have qualified to be evacuated. Nevertheless this was called a victory at the loss of 13 U.S. service members’ lives, coupled with many injured who are almost forgotten, most likely to suffer the rest of their lives.

This terrible debacle has shown the world this administration will cut and run from our promises to defend our allies. As we see, the U.S. has troops in Taiwan, and the Chinese are flying near Taiwan, sending “warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone,” according to news reports and The Washington Post.

No doubt we will surrender Taiwan further emboldening of course North Korea and China, and we will back away one country at a time from our commitment to keep the Pacific. Our partners in South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and of course Australia look to us for support. For shame President Joe Biden.

-Robert L. Studebaker, Norfolk

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