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Kristie S. Atwood: We all must ‘Ask Why’

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Today the kids and I took a day trip to Washington, D.C. It was the first time we have visited the Holocaust Museum and there I saw the #askwhy. This has stuck with me all day. In no way am I saying I have experienced anything near what the Jewish faced during that horrific, evil time, but we (all of us) need to “ASK WHY?”

Prime examples:

-Valley Health getting rid of its Women’s Care Unit and ICU in a planned new hospital.
WHY?

-Building officials and local government leaders–whether hired or elected–bending rules and only following laws when they choose to.
WHY?

-County attorney saying the USBC and Code of Virginia do not require policies and procedures?
WHY?
(This one, I said much more, like what is my county? A fly-by-night circus?)

-Citizens receiving special treatment when it comes to overdue taxes.
WHY?

-A Contractor LLC who claims to be in business since 2002 and advertises as fully-licensed and insured, who has built many homes in Warren County, yet has never bothered to get a Contractor Firm License. County will not act on behalf of citizens harmed by this LLC.
WHY?

You know why? Because no one comes forward to #Askwhy. No one holds these government employees and elected officials accountable. When you #Askwhy, you make people uncomfortable, you knock on a door, these too-comfortable people don’t want to answer.

The time has come to #Askwhy and let that lead to Who? What? When? Where? How? and a whole Pandora’s Box of other questions these officials and leaders don’t want to answer.

It is time to make these people answer to us, hardworking average citizens.  They work for us. They are here to protect us, serve us, and ensure our safety.

But you know what?  They are failing miserably. With my house nightmare, (By the way,  anyone who would like to know how my family “trashed” the house, I welcome you to come to look.) My family tends not to play in insulation or make exhaust vents look like something from Trailer Park Boys.

My rights have been violated and I have steadily asked why. I have emailed Warren County employees; the administrator, the county attorney, the information officer, the Building Official. I have emailed the Board of Supervisors and you know who has stood up for this Warren County citizen? No one!!!

They are all too busy covering each other’s ass to do the right thing. I have given them chance after chance and no one will stick their neck out and say “This woman has a point, we need to look into it.”

So here it is fellow citizens:  David Beahm, the Warren County Building Official committed a Class 3 misdemeanor when he issued the applying entity of Buracker Construction LLC a building permit. Beahm illegally transferred the applying entity’s name to Buracker Construction, BUT that company did not have a valid Warren County Business license until June/July 2018. That is 16 years in business, NO valid contractor’s license with the LLC and no business license for just Buracker Construction. These are the cold hard facts.

How many of you operate a business in Warren County without the proper licenses?

I told Warren County officials and the Board of Supervisors I was taking this issue public if they did not act. The whole group of them are violating my 14th Amendment right of “equal protection of laws”.

Since the Building Official is a permanent title until retiring or being removed, I demanded–and still demand– that Beahm be removed from his office. His actions, or lack thereof,  have enabled an improperly licensed contractor to cause great harm and distress to my family.

There are more citizens out there who have been damaged. I know, because they have reached out with their stories. David Beahm, Warren County building official,  did not ensure my family’s safety or oversee his department’s work. I recently found during the time my home was being built, Beahm was President of the Virginia Building and Code Officials. Beahm was away from the office at least 1/3 of the time with no one else with the certifications to cover his absence.

WHY?

WHY did Doug Stanley and the Board of Supervisors allow this to happen?

WHY will they not look into the situation and hold him accountable?

WHY do they allow large conflicts of interest to take place on BOS-appointed boards and allow employees with conflicts of interests to be employed in departments they should not be?

WHY do these employees and officials feel untouchable?

WHY?

Who can answer my question?

My Granddaddy said, “There is never a dumb question.” so start asking and holding those accountable.

It is time for Warren County citizens to clean house. I think we need to start going done the line demanding resignations. It is time to straighten up and fly right!
#Askwhy

Submitted by Bentonville, VA resident Kristie Sours Atwood

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Newman

    August 24, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Always ask “why” 5 times. This is a simple management technique championed if not invented by Toyota Motor Co. “Why” is this? Because it gets to the root cause of the problem…or in this case corruption and incompetence.

  2. James

    August 5, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    Unfortunately, the last person that asked the hard questioned was Councilman Egger that was stonewalled by her fellow councilman. Since her departure, the hard questions regarding the EDA has not been answered and her father has picked up the cause of of holding both the town council and board of supervisors accountable. Only until the recent indictments of the EDA director that Mr. Egger’s outcry of the possible illegal activities has now been confirmed. It’s been sad and interesting to watch as the individuals involved try to cover up these activities. You are absolutely correct in stating it’s time to elect new leadership in our community. The first time coming up is the upcoming town election for council and mayor. There appear to be several new people running that are not part of the good old boy network. Maybe it’s time to give others a chance to get the answers to the many questions not being answered today. It’s a real disservice to our community that the mayor is running unchallenged and another retread past councilman is running again. I don’t expect that the answers will come forth to the public from these individuals. Change is hard for many but maybe starting with new leadership elected in the town might start the process that would lead to the change in the board of supervisors next year. Guess you have to start somewhere or it will be the same old same old with no questions being answered in the future.

  3. Jim Coats

    August 2, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Will be as interesting to see who answers as what the answers are.

  4. Jim Coats

    August 2, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Valid questions we all need answers to

  5. Concerned Citizen and Parent

    August 2, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Kristie, I’d like to applaud you for asking these questions, and I’d like to take it further.

    Warren County schools teacher retention rate has dropped significantly since Greg Drescher took over as Superintendent.

    WHY? (Hint: Pay is only PART of the problem)

    Greg Drescher continues to be involved with the shady EDA, despite having a full-time job as Superintendent of Schools in a county that continues to have problems in its schools.

    WHY?

    The county is entertaining the idea of a multi-million dollar bridge over the Rockland Road rail crossing (prize for stupid idea of the year) when they can’t retain teachers, partially because of low pay.

    WHY?

    • Kristie

      August 3, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Put the questions out there, they need answers

  6. Leslie

    August 2, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Don’t give up! Doing what is right is a fight! Your situation is unjust and the tip of the iceberg to all that goes on here. The citizens that care need to stand up and hold them all accountable! Too many cover ups and dishonest work in this county! Why?

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Opinion

Elections Matter?

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Last week, the Stephens City Town Council appeared to take a page from the GOP playbook when they decided to confiscate powers from the newly elected mayor, Michael Diaz. The Council voted to remove powers given to the Mayor by the town charter and transfer them to the town manager.

Mr. Diaz was elected in November to the mayoral position, but the Town Council took it upon themselves to strip the new Mayor of supervisory duties and relegate his role to being “consulted for general advice.”

This unfortunate notion that one party believes their views so correct that they justify usurping the public’s will expressed by voters seems to reflect the Republican view that has seized power in other instances across the country. Apparently, patriotism does not extend to voter representation when it conflicts with the Republican right to rule.

Steve Foreman
Chair, Warren County Democratic Committee

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Opinion

What Christmas is all about: “We cannot go to Him; He had to come to us”

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Wonderful? Marvelous? Glorious? What words could adequately describe the experience of yet another Christmas?

Yes, Christmas, the celebration of His birth. Whose birth? God’s birth! God incarnate, the God-Man!

Yes, the God of the Bible, the One and only God who created all that exists, including creating and breathing life into man.

Yes, the only and very God who walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden Of Eden! The Scriptures speak of Him as the One “whose going forth are from of old, from everlasting.”

But why? His own great love and nature compelled Him to do so, for mankind had fallen into sin and was lost and separated from Him. The result was that death came upon all men, not only physically but spiritually as well.

For scripture says man became a living soul, and the soul that sins will die. Further, it says “there is none that sinneth not, no, not one.”

Thus, being/having a soul, we are all lost and without hope of living and escaping death. Perishing is where we find ourselves. Our situation: we cannot remove the stain of sin and thus perfect ourselves before God and His law. We cannot find Him. He has to find us.

Further, being temporal, physical beings we are unable to approach Him, and, however earnest and pure in thought, plead our case to Him.

We do not have such standing before His holy, righteous and majestic throne. Simply put, WE CANNOT GO TO HIM. Simply put again, HE HAD TO COME TO US!

And that is what Christmas is all about. He saw that mankind needed deliverance; hence, a Saviour, a Redeemer. God delivered! And because of the babe in the manger, I and all others who accept Him can shout with the hymnal writer, who, in speaking to our physical deaths, says; “….this robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise to seize the everlasting prize!”

God’s gift is eternal life, never to die. Death has been swallowed up in victory!

Rev. Jess Shifflett
Front Royal, VA

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Opinion

Jesus, Miracle Worker

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Seeing the words, “I make beer disappear” on a man’s shirt, I asked him if he worked miracles since he was able to make beer disappear, and he replied that all he did was put it in his tummy and his tummy did the rest.

Miracles? I immediately thought about Jesus, the greatest miracle worker of all the ages. It was, however, about water, not beer. Not only did he make it disappear, he turned it into wine!

Jesus said that he was doing things that no man had ever done before, which helps people understand that he was saying that he was God; saying “If you can’t believe my words, believe for my works’ sake!”

As God, Jesus could say, “I am the light of the world, and he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” And further, that he would lay down his life for his sheep; indicating the path he would take in order to bestow eternal life to his sheep.

Being God, Jesus could ask when healing the man with palsy, “Which is easier to say, your sins be forgiven you, or take up your bed and walk?” The Jews had just remarked that God alone can forgive sins. Well, only God could do either one! Jesus said further that he said what he did in order that “…you might know that the Son of Man has the power on earth to forgive sin,” saying, in effect, I am God!

But how could God give his life for mankind; who, having spurned his love in the Garden Of Eden, continues to reject him to serve other Gods? Well, God says it’s not about us (who are as filthy rags in his sight; therefore, nothing to love) but all about him. For he said; “I am God and not man!” So in his perfect love he loves us IN SPITE OF our sinfulness and unworthiness. So, can you possibly fathom that God; yes,  Almighty God, the Heavenly Father, in order to “win back” his lost love, came “courting” to regain what was lost to him? Remember that the Scriptures say, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.” Truly, he must be saying, “Be Mine!” Believe and follow me and I will give you the water of life and you will never thirst again; and the bread of life and you will never be hungry again; and not only will you never die, I will never leave you nor forsake you!

It’s been said that to love someone you must get to know them. Well, Jesus knows us through and through because he created us! Could it be then, that he doesn’t love us as we are but for what we have the potential to become as the result of the workings of a wondrous miracle of God; or more pointedly, from “the touch of the Master’s hand?”

Rev. Jess Shifflett
Front Royal, VA

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Opinion

Veteran: Jennifer Lewis will protect health care for those with pre-existing conditions

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To the Editor:

I have been fortunate to count so many veterans as friends and family. As a veteran myself, I am familiar with the many sacrifices these men and women make for our country. I never experience combat myself, but I know some veterans who have and some still carry those scars with them suffering from PTSD or struggling with substance abuse. This issue got my attention recently with a shocking statistic. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have resulted in nearly 6,000 combat deaths of our service members. In that same period over 200,000 veterans have committed suicide, twice the rate of non-veterans.

On November 6th we go to the polls to pick our leaders in Congress. Leaders who will decide the future of health care, including mental health care, in this country. In the 6th district, one candidate wants to eliminate health care coverage for 20 million Americans and strip us of protections for pre-existent conditions, including PTSD. His opponent is a mental health care worker who has promised to expand access to health care for all and to protect health care for those with pre-existent conditions. That candidate is Jennifer Lewis.

Jorge Amselle
Front Royal, VA 
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Opinion

With Trump, America is winning

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Two years ago this week, Democrats were stunned when they lost in strongholds they had taken for granted. We recall that, after candidate Clinton had mocked Trump voters as “deplorables,” she went on to brand them as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.”

Yes, these are the same miserable folks whom Obama, as president, had called “bitter” because “they cling to guns or religion.”

After all that, one wonders, how could these deplorable losers not vote for Hillary?

Well, we didn’t. And you’d think Democrats had learned their lesson – but they’re at it again. Left-wing bigotry abounds. An MSNBC commentator of color asserts that white men are the most likely terrorists – referring perhaps to John Hodgkinson, the Democrat Bernie Sanders volunteer who attempted to massacre an entire baseball field of Republican Congressmen last year. Or to the Antifa terrorists who brutally attacked a group of Young Republicans waiting to hear a conservative speaker at Cal-Berkeley (yes, those the terrorists were indeed white, a fact revealed only after they were arrested and forced to remove their masks and body armor).

Despite their stinging loss in 2016, this year’s Democrats are more radical than ever. Their heroes preach socialism, but socialist Bernie Sanders won’t answer when asked about Venezuela, where socialism has brought the vast majority of the population to the point of starvation, and the inflation rate is somewhere between 25,000% and 30,000%.

(To make sure you’re still distracted, this past Tuesday Socialist Sanders called Trump “the most racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted president in history.” He has nothing left but epithets).

Why do our socialist Democrat friends want you to ignore Venezuela? Because they don’t want you to know that socialism means government ownership and control of the economy, which invariably leads to economic and social collapse.

However, if you do happen to believe that government can run your life better than you can, be sure to vote for them.

Socialism’s bad enough – but wait, there’s more. Hillary “passionately” wants to change the Constitution so Democrats can win more easily. Virginia’s own Senator Tim Kaine, her 2016, running mate, is just as extreme, sporting a 100% approval rating from the National Abortion “Rights” Action League, a group that considers unborn babies fair game for the abortionist until they are entirely out of the womb.

The Left’s tsunami of epithets is designed to distract us not only from the Democrats’ record, but from Donald Trump’s. And it not surprising, when you take a look at the how things have changed in America since January 2017.

Democrats and their elite establishment friends don’t want you to notice the accomplishments that have benefited our neighbors of all classes, colors ethnic groups, and denominations. Obama’s dreary, anemic economy is now history. In the past two years, four 4 million new jobs have been created. Economic growth last quarter hit 4.2 percent. New unemployment claims recently hit a 49-year low. Median household income has hit the highest level ever recorded. African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic-American unemployment rates have reached the lowest rate ever recorded. Women’s unemployment recently reached its lowest rate in 65 years. Almost 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps.

Trump’s tax reform means that small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years. With the doubling of the Standard Exemption, millions of families will no longer have to itemize deductions (and pay an accountant to file their taxes).

And here’s a gem they won’t mention. After years of demanding that Republicans must “tax the rich,” Democrats in states like California, New York, and New Jersey, are complaining because Trump’s tax reform does raise taxes the rich – raises them so much, in fact, that Democrat state legislators are already hard at work trying to get around it.

Donald Trump’s policy improvements are not limited to the booming economy. He has reversed the pro-abortion policies of the Clinton and Obama Administrations that sent millions in US taxpayer funds to fund abortions in Third World countries. He has freed religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor from the onerous pro-abortion policies of Obamacare. He has appointed two sterling Supreme Court justices who will consider cases according to the Constitution, and not the agenda of the Democratic National Committee. He has defended the rule of law and demands that foreigners obey our laws when entering the US, just like the rest of us do here at home. After years of bipartisan weakness, he has confronted China and other trading partners to demand a level playing field in trade – resulting in tens of thousands of jobs being brought back to the United States from overseas

And, yes, he has striven to Make America Great Again.

The radical Democrats don’t want you to know about Trump’s successes, so they’re using a massive campaign of media and online censorship of that news, while blaring Hillary’s and Bernie’s vapid stream of epithets at every opportunity. When words don’t work, they send in mobs to harass and even assault law-abiding Americans. Who knows, maybe they think we’ll be so ashamed of clinging to our Bibles and guns, deplorable bigots that we are – maybe we’ll just be ashamed to show our face at the polls on election day!

What’s at the bottom of their hatred? A simple fact: they were supposed to win in 2016. They controlled the media, the radical college and university faculties, Internet social media (with Facebook, Twitter, and Google “shadow-blocking” millions of conservative users), the “Deep State” bureaucracies, the government and public school unions, the billion-dollar foundations, Hollywood and entertainment – it’s all theirs.

And they still lost.

It boils down to this: even though Democrats control virtually every sector of the American establishment, they still can’t win elections.

And it drives them nuts.

Christopher Manion
Warren County

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Opinion

A positive choice for the future

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We know who he is now, we know he will never become presidential. We know who his base is, and we know he will do whatever it takes to keep them stimulated. But he represents all Americans. He is the most powerful person in the world and a word from him can shake governments and stock markets. We deserve more than lies and bigotry from our president.

We also know that he is supposed to work for the entire United States. Whether he acknowledges it or not, or whether we like it or not, he is supposed to speak for all of us.

From that first escalator ride, to Charlottesville, and recently, his inability to acknowledge domestic terrorism, plainly, he is not concerned about the consequences he provokes. His only concern about the recent attacks are the effects on his “campaign”. He is trapped in a zero-sum mindset where allowing access to healthcare or freedom or diversity for some subtracts somehow from his own interests. Placing trust in such a con artist can only lead to bad outcomes.

Without much resistance, his party followed him down this path. They make excuses for inexcusable behavior. Consequently, we see hate crimes have dramatically increased.

This election season we must investigate the contrast between the party of Trump and the Democratic Party. Democrats have emerged as the party of healthcare for all, wider opportunities for those who want them, and personal freedom. The Democrats do not need to lie about their support for expansion of medical care, environmental safety and a more just society.

The choices could not be clearer this November. The Democratic Party has a vision that includes instead of rejects. Working for the best outcomes for everyone creates positive change. If you want to progress beyond a 19th century outlook, look to the Democratic candidates for new ideas and options.

Steve Foreman
Democrat

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