Fear-mongering as a tool

It seems that more often than not folks who live in huge McMansions on private estates, drawing big government pensions and other income streams, are the ones making the biggest noise about keeping things the same in the county (Letter to the Editor, “Snapshot of Rappahannock’s Future,” Demaris Miller, July 19).

Of course they would! They don’t need to worry about finding decent paying jobs or affordable housing without having to move out of the county as so many people here do. They’ve got plenty of fine space to take walks and entertain their grandkids.

The county has many choices for where to go — we could allow factories and warehouses, or suburban sprawl, or tourism with a NASCAR track, an amusement park, skate boarding and all. Or we could stick to a plan for growth that preserves our scenic rural character while encouraging people to visit and share that beauty and spend a little money here. A safe bike and walking path with gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge certainly fits in that category.

But it’s not just for visitors. In that marathon board of supervisors’ meeting a while back when the path was discussed, I was struck by how many of those in favor were parents with small children, school administrators and the elderly. When our kids were growing up we frequently went on bike rides. It was a safe and healthy family activity.

We never worried about pedophilia and sexual abuse — there were a lot more reports of that taking place in schools and religious organizations than on bike paths. But fear-mongering is one tool for keeping things the way they are.

Perhaps if the bike path does not get completed some of those folks can volunteer their pristine driveways for county families to teach their kids to ride bikes and for the elderly to take nice safe walks. Not sure where else that could happen here in the county today.

Casey Eitner

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