Letters to the Editor - July 2010

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Jobs will attract an educated work force to Southern Virginia

To the Editor,
It’s all well and good to talk about having an educated work force, but officials have been mistaking cause for effect [“Reseeding the tobacco region,” May issue].

Here in Martinsville-Henry County we have been retraining and educating displaced workers for over a decade. When an individual finishes training, he or she needs a job right away, and that means relocating to where jobs are, not sitting here and waiting for jobs to come.  That is one reason our unemployment rate is so high. Most of the truly employable people have left to find work elsewhere.

When DuPont opened its plant in Martinsville in the 1940s, there were no engineers already here. They moved here to work. If we get jobs here for educated people, workers will move back and increase the average educational level of the work force.

We have the infrastructure in place for a larger population than we have now. We need jobs for people to fill.

Gael Chaney

100-mpg vehicle raises hope for more efficiency

To the Editor,

Bravo! Very nice looking vehicle [“Lynchburg firm trying to build 100-mpg car,” June issue]. 

Weight and drag are the biggest impediments to efficiency, for sure, but it would be interesting to see how this vehicle would look after the Department of Transportation got its hands on it.  Where are the 2.5 mph bumpers, airbags, door beams, crumple zones, catalytic converters, etc.?

It’s worth noting that there were perfectly drivable cars that were getting 50+ mpg available in the 1980s, e.g., from Honda, but people seem to want to ride in tanks, because everyone else drives tanks, and this gorgeous piece of engineering probably would not fare too well in a collision with a Hummer or an F250.

But perhaps with intriguing designs like this one on the horizon, and the prospect of $5 or even $10/gallon gas looming, the pendulum will swing back towards sanity.

Tom Bowden

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