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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
AmeriCorps is helping Southside help itself
Last year in Virginia, AmeriCorps programs recruited more than 520 people to provide service across four critical needs areas: education, health, public safety and the environment. AmeriCorps members' service hours add up to more than 15 million in the commonwealth alone since the program's inception in 1994.
One program, the Virginia College Advising Corps, places recent college graduates in high schools throughout Virginia to help students apply to post-secondary education.
In Southside this year alone, VCAC has helped students complete more than 800 college applications and file nearly 300 federal student aid applications.
Another program in Carroll County, Reading for Life, placed 30 tutors in area schools to help students with reading and math.
March 9-17 was AmeriCorps Week across the nation. Let it be a reminder of the spirit of service shown by Virginians toward one another.
Programs like AmeriCorps bring this spirit to communities in need that, without it, would be unable to create change on their own.
Tax dollars used to support AmeriCorps programs place resources in the hands of the communities themselves, empowering those who know best how to effect change.
Find out more about Virginia's AmeriCorps programs at: vaservice.org/go/national/americorps/.
DREAMA L. MONTRIEF JOHNSON
Member, Governor's Advisory Boardon Volunteering and National and Community Service
Moving academics to No. 1 at Tech
I appreciate the Hokie Nation's support of Virginia Tech and Virginia Tech athletics.
However, the grumbling and complaining over the lack of Thursday night football games next year is misplaced. Tech is first and foremost an institution of higher education. Anything that gets in the way of allowing us to fulfill our mission of educating the next generation should be resisted.
It may come as a surprise to some, but we are not a football team attached to a university.
Tech is a university first and foremost. Fridays following Thursday night games see a considerable reduction in class attendance, and those brave students who do manage to get to class are, for the most part, zombies.
We are not doing them a service by offering distractions during the week that take them away from their studies.
Further, we send the world the wrong message by emphasizing football over academics.
As a long-time proud member of the Tech faculty, I urge those who want those Thursday night games back to think of the future of your students.
They will have plenty of time to attend football games on weekends, and they can come back and support their team once they graduate.
JOSEPH C. PITT
Getting the ammo off the shelves
Proponents of new federal gun control laws were frustrated when Vice President Joe Biden described concessions sought by gun rights proponents as "so porous that they are going to allow a truck to be driven through the holes in the legislation they are proposing loaded with tens of thousands of weapons."
But the Obama administration doesn't give up. In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security bought huge quantities of ammunition - 1.6 billion rounds.
That amounts to five bullets for every person in the United States, or enough to fight a 24-year Iraq or Afghanistan war.
Additionally, DHS is asking for magazines that "have a capacity to hold thirty (30) 5.56x45mm NATO rounds."
The massive ammo buy leaves local law enforcement officials around the country having trouble buying enough ammunition to stock their police departments.
Private buyers also have noted ammo is harder to find and the shortage is causing prices to spike.
No bullets, de facto gun control.
Weather JournalWarmth next 2 days hits icy wall