Letters to the Editor: December 4 – 10, 2014
Saslaw Should’ve Spoken Sooner on UVA ‘Coverup’
I was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia in the late ‘60s. I have a very personal perspective on recent allegations of sexual assault and coverup in Charlottesville. I share State Senator Saslaw’s disgust and outrage and add a touch of betrayal as well. I want to assure Saslaw that such criminal behavior has not been going on at UVA “forever.” In my day female students were so rare as to be an object of curiosity, wonderment, and, as I truly believe, respect.
I do want to ask a couple of questions triggered by Saslaw’s rant before City Council. He asked rhetorically what parent in his right mind would send his daughter to UVA? Good question. So why did he send his own daughter there in the 1980s, given that he knew of a culture of sexual abuse and coverup 40 years ago?
By his own admission Saslaw has been in the legislature for all these years, claiming to know of a shameful, criminal situation at our flagship university, but he and his colleagues were always dissuaded from taking any action. It took a detailed account of a gang rape to make him angry enough to propose doing anything.
It seems to be that if criminal behavior has been swept under the rug for so long, Saslaw has to table his righteous anger long enough to admit that he has been holding a corner of the rug himself and to share a little of the blame and guilt. There is plenty to go around.
F.C. Drivers, Please Use Common Sense & Compassion
One night last month, as I was driving up Lincoln Ave. around 9:30 p.m. on my way home, I came upon a deer lying in a leaf pile by the road. It was sitting up as if it were resting. I pulled in behind it so no one would hit it and went up to it. The poor thing had been hit by a car and debris from the car was nearby on the road. I was able to get help from the neighbors who called the police and animal control. While waiting for help to arrive, the deer got up and hobbled up onto the lawn and fell down again under a tree. Suddenly, another deer appeared and came across the street toward me. This deer walked cautiously past me, went up on the lawn and stood as still as a statue over the fallen deer as if guarding her. When the police arrived, she moved off to a distance but still remained close and watchful.
I want to thank the neighbors, the police and animal control people who responded and helped this poor animal. I also want to implore people to please drive with an awareness that animals do run into the street. And with darkness coming earlier deer and nocturnal animals may be in the roads earlier as well. Don’t speed and be watchful for movement or eyes reflected in headlights at the side of the road. Please give animals a brake! I firmly believe most animal deaths and injuries can be avoided if drivers would just slow down and be vigilant and use common sense and compassion.
And, speaking of compassion, it was clear to me that the person who hit this deer and left it has absolutely no compassion whatsoever. This was a cruel and heartless act. The deer that came and, in the midst of people whom it naturally fears, stood guard over her friend showed more grace and nobility than many humans I’ve encountered. Definitely more than the person who didn’t care to stop and call for help.
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