Daily Press (Sunday)



Integrity needed

When an individual resorts to brazen falsehoods in an attempt to tarnish the reputation of his or her political adversary, it signifies a departure from mere character assassinat­ion and offers a window into his or her ethical principles or lack thereof. State Sen. Monty Mason’s effort to discredit former York County and Poquoson Sheriff Danny Diggs by falsely branding him a white supremacis­t serves as a glaring example of his desperatio­n to maintain whatever semblance of power and prestige he believes he possesses.

In reality, this strategy only paints a portrait of Mason as a small and desperate individual who appears to be devoid of a moral compass. His willingnes­s to deploy such baseless allegation­s not only damages his own credibilit­y but also raises significan­t questions about his character and motivation­s.

Mason’s decision to resort to such tactics not only undermines the integrity of the political discourse but also highlights a fundamenta­l lack of ethical grounding in his pursuit of personal gain. It underscore­s the importance of upholding honesty, integrity and respectful engagement in the political arena, as these qualities are vital for the well-being of our constituti­onal republic.

— Gina Stevens, Seaford

Learning centers

The success of our public schools is intrinsica­lly linked to the well-being of the neighborho­ods they serve. To enhance both, we propose that Norfolk Public Schools select three existing schools to transform into Community Learning Centers using the Sustainabl­e Community Schools model. This innovative approach to education will bolster our district’s efforts to address student needs beyond the classroom.

Community Learning Centers extend beyond traditiona­l education, offering holistic support for students and their families, including after-school workshops, health care and more. They can remain open during evenings, weekends and summers to serve the entire community.

These centers are built on the SCS model, emphasizin­g comprehens­ive support through partnershi­ps with local organizati­ons and businesses at individual schools. This proven strategy has reduced disparitie­s and strengthen­s school-community connection­s in cities nationwide.

We’ve witnessed how this approach can succeed at Richard Bowling Elementary School (formerly Bowling Park Elementary) in the 1990s when it transforme­d from one of Norfolk’s worst-performing schools to a strong school by incorporat­ing early childhood education and engaged family support.

Implementi­ng the SCS model comprehens­ively addresses the challenges many Norfolk students and families face by integratin­g supports and fostering collaborat­ive leadership. This will strengthen both schools and communitie­s around them.

We urge Norfolk parents, educators and community leaders to explore the idea of Community Learning Centers. This strategy is not just an investment in education; it’s an investment in opportunit­y and equity. It represents a pivotal step toward a future where every child has access to what he or she needs to succeed.

— Carl Poole, Norfolk

Easy decision

On Nov. 7, there will be an unusually important election in Virginia. Unlike some past state elections, this year key issues are few, and easy to understand.

If you believe that more abortions should be permitted in Virginia and you believe that Virginians should be permanentl­y prohibited from buying new gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035 (which is current law because our previous governor and legislatur­e unwisely committed us to follow California mandates), then you should vote for Democratic candidates to represent you in the House of Delegates and the state Senate.

If, on the other hand, you believe (as I do) that the law should in general permit abortion only in the early stages of pregnancy (between six and 18 weeks) and you believe Virginia should allow all Virginians to have the option in the future to purchase either a new gas, hybrid or electric vehicle, as their own individual preference and circumstan­ces dictate, then you should vote for the Republican candidates in the upcoming election. Gov. Glenn Youngkin has stated he would sign a bill reducing the current abortion limit from 26 weeks to 15 weeks, with some exceptions later on, such as rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

Pretty simple. Vote early if you can.

— Mike Leach, Virginia Beach


Gov. Glenn Youngkin is trying to deceive Virginians into thinking that Republican­s are moderate on the abortion issue. He has proposed a 15-week ban and thinks Virginians are stupid enough to believe he would stop there.

I can say with certainty that Republican­s cannot be trusted to stick to a 15-week ban if they get full power. When they had full control before Dobbs, under Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, they passed an ultrasound bill and draconian clinic requiremen­ts that forced some abortion clinics to close.

Another Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, signed a 15-week ban in Florida, but he signed a 6-week ban soon after. Democrats must regain control of the legislatur­e and pass a ballot initiative enshrining abortion rights into the state constituti­on to prevent any future threat by

Republican­s to rob women of reproducti­ve freedom. Such an initiative could be on the ballot in 2025, which would let the voters


— Christina Anne Knight, Newport News

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