By Michael Kirkpatrick
As the last port director of the now endangered Port of New River Valley, I feel compelled to respond to the July 19 Roanoke Times article by Jacob Demmit, “S.W. Va. loses port of entry,” and the editorial of July 21, “A crucial asset in a global economy.”
First, I must clarify that the port has been around much longer than since 2006. The New River Valley Economic Development Alliance Inc., made up of representatives from several cities, towns and counties in the New River Valley and Roanoke areas, petitioned the government in 1997.
Kirkpatrick is a recently retired U.S. Customs & Border Protection Officer with 25 years of federal service who now resides in rural Northern Virginia near his son and grandchildren.