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Monday, July 29, 2013
Seeking cheerleaders for region’s goods
Re: “S.W. Va. loses port of entry,” July 19 news story:
It is not surprising to me that Southwest Virginia has lost its port of entry agent. Why? Because it’s not used enough.
Why? Because our government officials, both local and national representatives from our area, are not selling the products we produce in Southwest Virginia to foreign buyers.
They’re only reacting now when they should have been proactive about understanding what people do here in Southwest Virginia and how that might be something people can use all over the world.
Simply speaking, they’ve been sitting on their hands.
Connector bus needs Amtrak ticketing link
Valley Metro should include the Smart Way Connector Bus in Amtrak’s reservation system as soon as possible to boost ridership and local economies for these reasons:
n Free advertising: Bus stops would appear online and in all Amtrak regional and national schedules, viewed throughout the country and world.
Amtrak will provide an online summary of each bus stop and a link to TripAdvisor for additional information about local lodging, restaurants and attractions.
n Convenience: Riders to Roanoke and other bus stops would need to make only one, not two, reservations, which can be printed from any computer or sent to any smart phone, to ensure both a train and bus seat. Riders need carry no cash or paper tickets.
n Targeted marketing: Amtrak and state rail officials will obtain a much clearer picture of travel patterns of those using the bus/train option, allowing state and local governments to use scarce dollars to target the best new user markets.
When Valley Metro transitions to the Amtrak reservation system, benefits for governments, transit organizations, riders and businesses will kick in immediately, creating a collective push from all parties to bring Amtrak to Roanoke sooner rather than later.
Mall retailers should work with neighbors
The July 9 article by David Ress (“Dorchester Court residents regroup”) captured the unity and concerns in our community.
I was born in Virginia and moved to Roanoke the first time in 1975, and returned permanently in 1987. I remember when the last images of the Huff Lane Farms were replaced by a movie theater, restaurants and small retailers.
I am sure most readers who have lived in Roanoke all of their lives will always remember Huff Lane School, the farm and the park as the cornerstone for the community adjacent and to the east of the Valley View Mall.
Our neighborhood extends from Hershberger Road, south to Oakland Boulevard and east to Williamson Road. Trying to preserve and build this neighborhood should be embraced by the city council and Valley View Mall retailers.
Retailers have an opportunity to be partners with our neighborhood. By adopting the neighborhood, they could improve public relations and become a model for others to see how communities and retailers can cooperate.
The neighborhood is hopeful that The Roanoke Times and Ress will continue to report the outcomes of the rezoning and rebuilding of the old Huff Lane Farm and school and park area.
McAuliffe shows his anti-coal creds
So Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe was back in Blacksburg the other week (“McAuliffe’s campaign tours Tech,” July 2 news story). It was in Blacksburg in 2009 that McAuliffe said: “As governor, I never want another coal plant built.”
And this time, even more incredibly, he had in tow Penn State professor Michael Mann — the world champion of so-called climate change. That tells you all you need to know about McAuliffe’s hollow professions of concern about our Southwestern Virginia coal industry.
From time to time, I wonder how many hard-working Virginians are to be sacrificed on the altar of the far-left lunacy championed by Mann and McAuliffe. It’s clear from his past statements — and the company he keeps — whose side McAuliffe will really be on when the Obama administration uses Mann’s phony research and the Environmental Protection Agency to close down some of the plants already standing.
Weather JournalWarmth next 2 days hits icy wall