Letters for the May 27 Edition

VDOT needs to change lane markings at Routes 11/220


VDOT needs to address a problem with the lane markings at the intersection of Route 11 (Lee Highway) and Route 220 (Cloverdale/Roanoke Road). When the road was re-engineered following the closing of the truck stop, VDOT wisely included a lane, separated by a barrier, available only to vehicles coming off 81-North at Exit 150B and continuing towards Daleville.

Not including that lane, there are three other southbound lanes on Route 11 for use by vehicles coming from the traffic circle and headed past the Pilot Station and Hardee’s. One of those lanes is properly reserved for vehicles turning left from 11 South and onto 220. The issue is with the marking of the other two lanes – the two “inside” lanes.

Probably 75 to 80 percent of the vehicles not turning left are turning right to head towards Daleville and Fincastle. Very few are continuing straight on Route 11. But the problem is that drivers going straight – a significant minority of drivers at that intersection – have both “inside” lanes for their use. When they use the right-hand of the two lanes, traffic that is waiting to turn right onto 220 cannot make an otherwise-legal right turn on red. I have sat at that intersection numerous times when one car is at the front of the line, headed straight, and blocks at least seven or eight cars behind it – cars that are all waiting to turn right.

It would be an easy thing for VDOT to remark that intersection so that one lane is dedicated for left turn traffic (as it presently is) – one lane is dedicated for that minority of traffic continuing straight on Route 11 – and one lane is dedicated for the majority of vehicles that are turning right onto 220.

How about taking a look at this, VDOT! You would be helping a lot of us who unnecessarily sit through a cycle of lights when we could be safely making a right turn on red.

Rick Harvey

Blue Ridge


Living in a kind of ‘Twilight Zone’


I had a dream last night…New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, wearing a set of pearl handled pistols, was leading a parade down Wheatland Road, followed by a masked squad of Marines, then two tanks and an APC. Behind them was about 25-30 nurses pushing ventilators. Way in the back was a tall blond waving some kind of Wall Street sign. I was abruptly awakened when my cat jumped on my head! This cat – now known as the flying cat – was deposited safely across the room! I got up and looked out the window. All clear. Nobody there.

I don’t know if you could call it a dream or a nightmare because seems we now live in a nightmarish kind of Twilight Zone, somewhere between “The Day The Earth Stood Still” and “Groundhog Day.”

I’ve been cooped up for weeks now and as of this morning, the death toll was more than 90,000 people… that’s more than the population of many towns! I only go out for the needed loaf of bread and milk and the drug store.

We grew up with some initials – COD, PDQ and DDT – but now it seems our entire language consists of verbal shorthand – PPP, PPE, CDC, UPS, C19, ABC, CNN and CVS.

I hope and pray that we all may soon be beyond this evil virus. Hold fast and be safe.

I must go now and send my daily SOS to God.

Jerry Huff   



How the Trump Administration will be remembered


I cannot understand why, at the beginning of this pandemic, why people weren’t advised to wear bandanas or scarves due to the shortage of manufactured masks. People would have adopted such advice more readily. Something is always better than nothing. This virus has been allowed to penetrate this nation’s defenses and now is scattered, hidden throughout this country.’

The Trump Administration’s policy statements in reaction to the pandemic are the following:

Policy Statement No. 1, “It’s the economy, stupid. Don’t let the cure be worse than the disease.”

Policy Statement No. 2, “Oh, by the way, it is a shame that one hundred thousand to two hundred thousand of your fellow citizens are not going to be with us much longer.”

Policy Statement No. 3, “Rest assured, none of this is the fault of the Trump Administration.”

The Trump Administration will be remembered for the “Great American Die-Off of 2020.”

Bob Hundley

Eagle Rock


Preventing the Surge – COVID-19 live webinar to be presented on June 2


The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors, together with County Administration, is committed to protecting the health and well-being of the county’s citizens. Never has this been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the beginning of the pandemic, the county has engaged with citizens through regular messages from the Board chair, through updates from County Emergency Services, and through its COVID website.

Today, the pandemic is entering a new phase, as institutions around the nation begin easing restrictions on public interaction. At the same time, areas like Botetourt – removed from major metropolitan centers – are subject to the latent spread of the disease from the larger cities.

This combination of circumstances means that we are vulnerable to the so-called “Surge.” Accordingly, we must adjust our approach to the pandemic. We must be more vigilant than ever, and not let our guard down. Most of all, we must be informed of the new risk profile and practical ways to deal with it.

Rising to this imperative, the county is pleased to sponsor a live webinar entitled “Preventing the Surge – COVID-19.” This public program will offer a realistic appraisal of the new threat and a practical roadmap for response. Everything will be tailored to circumstances as they exist here at home, in Botetourt.

The webinar will be presented by Dr. Thomas Kerkering, Professor of Medicine at Virginia Tech-Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Kerkering, a Botetourt resident, is the former Chief of Infectious Diseases and former Director of Infection Control for Carilion. He has personally responded to many outbreak situations around the world, including the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Kerkering’s presentation will take place on Tuesday, June 2, at 7 p.m. You can join by going to botetourtva.live. It’s a webinar, so there is no need to leave the comfort and safety of your home. Reservations are not required. And it’s free of charge.  Plus, the webinar will be recorded and available on the county website for future viewing at: web.BotetourtVA.Gov/COVID19.

Because the webinar will be live, it will offer the opportunity for questions from the participants, either in advance or during the webinar. Advance questions should be submitted to CSexton@BotetourtVA.Gov.

On behalf of the Board of Supervisors and County Administration, I encourage all citizens to join this webinar. Come to the webinar with questions. Come away with new strategies to protect yourself and your family.

Steve Clinton

Amsterdam District Supervisor

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