As our city loses millions of dollars between the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts and the Virginia Beach Sports Center, I would like to offer a suggestion to prevent an additional loss elsewhere, specifically at Rudee Loop.
Four proposals have been submitted in accordance with city guidelines; only one stands out as serving the taxpayers’ best interest while ensuring the integrity of Rudee Loop. The Virginia Gentlemen Foundation has offered to build at little or no expense to taxpayers open space that would benefit the general public for generations to come.
The Virginia Gentlemen have a proven track record of success, and more importantly it is the recorded will of residents to let this location remain unblemished with another hotel.
The loop is one of the last open spaces on the Oceanfront. Council members should consider themselves good stewards and forgo any thoughts or attempts to develop this historical and cherished spot.
Lastly, several years ago City Council started a great process with the Resort Area Strategic Action Plan, which led to soliciting proposals and public engagement including presentations and comments where the park-only plan was supported. All the council has to do is select the best proposal and complete the process that the citizens urge (elected) them to do.
Ron Swan, Virginia Beach
Re “Longer waits; higher prices: The ‘new normal’ for dining out in Hampton Roads” (July 30): Guess who won’t be going to Little Dog Diner in Norfolk. With a 13% surcharge, a 6.5% food and beverage tax, a 6% sales tax and a 20% tip, that’s way too much above the price of the meal.
It wasn’t addressed in the article, but the minimum cash wage for tipped staff is just $2.13. In Virginia, if they don’t receive at least $12 an hour (minimum wage) in total tips and wages, the restaurant would have to pay the difference to $12. Restaurant workers work hard, often working holidays, weekends and nights. If there are so many open positions, it is probably because they are not paid enough.
Melanie Roberts, Chesapeake
Re “Law firm” (Your Views, July 31): The letter writer states that teachers being shot in schools is becoming a common workplace injury. There has been a lot of discussion since the student shooting at Richneck Elementary School about who is responsible for the care of the victim. The Newport News school district or School Board wants it to be workers’ compensation because it’s a “workplace injury.” Is this written in their respective employee contracts or human resources manual? Have the employees been notified that workplace accidents including being shot?
Being shot at is expected in high-risk professions such as military and law enforcement. Is shooting now to be expected in school facilities? What is next on the list? More importantly, what will we as a society condone as acceptable behavior? We should demand accountability from those who fail to protect their employees’ well-being while in the workplace.
Kenneth Paulson, Norfolk
Re “Peninsula Airport Commission replaces longtime councilmember with business executive” (Aug. 2): When will the commissioners attack the real problem? There were more than 1 million travelers in 2012, and travelers were down to about 166,000 in 2022. Where did those revenue seats go? Richmond and Norfolk both say, “not here.”
Airlines are not going to fly to places where they can’t sell seats and make money. Publicly, the commission members say they want “business-minded individuals” to bring in more flights and assist in transforming the airport into an asset that is valuable. But privately, they apparently look for those missing potential travelers under the chairs they are just rearranging on the deck of the Peninsula Airport Commission. Previous administrations at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport had folks leave the area in disgrace after public money was used to guarantee a private loan. When are we going to get somebody who understands the problem, and brings some real solutions?
Thomas G. Swanson, Seaford
Re “Norfolk City Council votes to spend $18 million to buy MacArthur Center with goal of redevelopment” (June 7): MacArthur Center is a dying mall that the city currently owns. Meanwhile, Military Circle mall is being demolished, except for Ross Dress For Less and property owned by Sentara Healthcare. Ross is to stay open until its lease ends. Maybe letting Ross and Sentara stay in the middle of a dead zone isn’t smart. Why not move them into MacArthur to increase foot traffic there?
Matthew Freeman, Norfolk
The former president has now been indicted on four felony counts related to working to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Regardless of party preference, we should be reminded and concerned about how much his words, spoken in anger and discontent, can affect the behavior of others. Let us all pray that our country remains peaceful during this process.
Warren G. Anthony, Portsmouth
The recent conversation about a possible third party candidate being a viable option to our present Republican and Democratic voting system is becoming a more popular topic. My thoughts: “Let’s get this party started.”
Robert B. Gregory, Knotts Island, North Carolina