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I have some information to share about the changes coming up this week. The new website is scheduled to launch today, and you will be allowed to comment on all editorial content directly on our opinion webpage. Yes, you will be required to do so through Facebook, and yes, I’m aware that many people are unhappy about that decision.
In any event, the expanded use of comments on the website means there is no reason to set up the same content on a separate blog with links. As a result, the RoundTable will be discontinued starting today. Over the years, our ability to provide you with additional content has gone up and down. Even when we’ve done so, most of the interest has remained on the content that also appears in the print edition, as it should. More recently, our department has been downsized, and we’ve had less time to devote to the blog.
The bottom line is that the only thing missing will be the open threads, but it’s often the case that the letters become essentially an open thread, and you are welcome to use them as such. I hope in time to post each letter separately on the webpage because I think each one will get more attention that way. But I’m not going to get too ambitious this week. Let’s get the website up first and make improvements from there. Let me know if you like that idea.
Editorial page editor
Virginia’s hospitals are getting whacked, and it would be naïve to expect that the pain will not spread.
Proposed state budget cuts would ding private hospitals a total of $34 million next year. Virginia Commonwealth University Health System and the University of Virginia Health System, which care for the largest numbers of the uninsured, face a hit of $24 million in Gov. Bob McDonnell’s budget plan and a devastating $500 million in federal cuts over five years starting in 2017.
Kudos to U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy’s prison re-entry conference, co-hosted by Virginia CARES (Community Action Re-entry System), held at the Dumas Center on Nov. 12, which drew close to 100 representatives from government and the civic community concerned with improving re-entry systems.
For ex-offenders in the United States, re-entry into society is difficult at best. Obstacles include a lack of mental health and rehabilitative services, education and job skills, not to mention the transition shock and insoluble buildup of fines and court costs that burden inmates upon release.
Edlich is president and CEO of Total Action for Progress.
Hello, Richie. Let’s start with a little honesty here. Neither one of us is the emotional sort, apt to wear our hearts on our sleeves.
With a burly Marine like you, we wouldn’t expect it; I have less of an excuse. But we both already know time is short, and there are a few things I want to say. Really just one thing, but for several reasons: Thanks.
Long is a Roanoke Times columnist and director of the Salem Museum.
Corey Lee Wrenn
It is a common misconception that we must kill dogs and cats for want of homes. We think it’s common sense: Lots of animals, not enough homes, some (millions) must die. Of course, this is what we’re told, and few of us have thought to actually look into the facts behind that story.
In actuality, there are enough homes. It is usually bureaucracy and resistance to change that maintain the myth that animals must die. For those shelters across the country that are stuck in the rut of euthanasia, staff and volunteer resources are squandered on fund-raising and grant-writing instead of adoption.
Wrenn is a professor of sociology. She lives in Alleghany County.
MusicLab Jam sessions, mass shootings and bumper stickers in today’s letters to the editor.
I smiled when I opened The Roanoke Times front section to page two on Dec. 9 and saw my cat, Abby, peeking out from under the tree skirt. But I cried when I got to page 13 and read Millie Beck’s story of “Lazarus, the enchanted cat.”
What a heart-breaking story, but one with a happy ending, which rarely happens in these cases.
So many cats (and dogs) suffer tremendously and die from injuries lesser than Lazarus’s, or from exposure and starvation. I’m so proud of Beck and the others who put forth Herculean efforts to rescue him and gave him a loving home.
He is a very lucky cat and truly blessed, but there are so many more that need help.
Please spay and neuter your pets, support your local rescue groups and shelters, and give generously throughout the year so that no other animal suffers needlessly.
Thank you, Ms. Beck. You are an angel.
Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal [but] which the reader recognizes as his own.
One last time: What’s on your mind today?
Virginians who in 2009 alone donated at least $2 million to the U.S. Navy Veterans Association found later they merely had helped line the pockets of an elusive con man known as Bobby Thompson.
They weren’t his only dupes. Nationwide, investigators say, he sucked up more than $100 million from donors between 2002 and 2010, when his “charity” was exposed as a fraud.