Opinion

Letters to the Editor - October 2010

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Cuccinelli supporters aren’t from ‘far right’

To the Editor,

I am a regular reader of Virginia Business, but I was concerned when I read your article on page 6 of the August edition [Our View by Publisher Bernie Niemeier: “Who’s running for governor?”], in which you said, “Cuccinelli does well with the far right.”

How do you define “far right”? Is it those of us (a) who oppose abortion, (b) who favor reducing the size of the federal government to its constitutional limits, (c) who are totally committed to the Second Amendment, (d) who oppose special rights for sodomites, (e) who favor a strong national defense focusing our territory and population? What makes us “far right”?

How do you define “far left”? Is it those who support the policies of Barack Obama, including partial-birth abortion, tax hikes, socialized medicine, etc.?

My hope is that, in the future, you will not characterize the supporters of Ken Cuccinelli in a pejorative manner.

Howard Phillips
Chairman, The Conservative Caucus Inc.
Vienna


August issue touched on vital concerns

To the Editor,

The August 2010 issue of Virginia Business was the best ever, because it touched on many of the current pertinent issues that really matter. It’s obvious you are the source of information and knowledge about the commonwealth, and you are laser-focused on the drivers of economic development.

Bernie’s well-written outlook on the race for our next governor.

Highlighting the growth of technology startup — Rosetta Stone — who has hit a home run.

Explaining how the public-private model for capital projects is the only solution to large-scale infrastructure needs.

Showcasing traditional economic development business attraction success with Northrop.

Leveraging the economic engine and drivers of our most untapped resource — universities. 

Touching on the deteriorating cost-benefit of college degrees and the importance of aligning academic programs to private-sector talent needs.

You did it! Finally, a media outlet who understands the broad economic landscape and delivers comprehensive content on the most important issues facing our economy without bias. Keep up the good work!
 
Stuart Mease
Director of Undergraduate Career Services
Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business
Blacksburg


Modeling and simulation cluster must seek diversified client base

To the Editor,

The news about the Joint Force Command (JFCOM) is disappointing for many like me who are advocates of modeling and simulation [“Defense Department plans to close Norfolk-based command,” Aug. 9, ]http://www.virginiabusiness.com]

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In fact, the modeling and simulation framework for economic development in the Southside was built on the Hampton Roads’ economic model. After seeing the economic success in the Hampton Roads region, the Virginia Tobacco Commission heavily subsidized and endorsed that modeling and simulation program. Virginia Tech followed its counterpart, Old Dominion University, and pledged to lead the Southside effort. The University of Virginia is now stepping up as a new partner.

​In the Hampton Roads region, the military played a major role in developing the modeling and simulation economic cluster there and on the Southside, but advocates are only now finding their niche by again seeking and relying on public partners like universities to define the model (advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, military night vision, etc.). Both regions share one thing: a publicly subsidized model during a time of economic and political uncertainty. This can be dangerous because it skews market forces, leaving a huge hole when the politics change. We have to ask two things: Can we afford an economic vacuum in Virginia at this juncture? How would this impact our “best place to do business” standing? Perhaps it won’t affect them, but there are some lessons we need to learn to avoid such a disaster.

​So what has been learned from the potential closing of JFCOM? It is the same lesson all defense contractors are now learning: that a company or organization has to have a diversified base of customers.  As Virginia looks forward with its modeling and simulation activities, especially in the Hampton Roads region, disappointment could lead to opportunity.  Hampton Roads is resilient, and if the people there search for new ways to use modeling and simulation, that economic cluster can remain strong.

Consider Florida’s model, which is heavily military based but augmented by the entertainment industry (Disney). Consider the Northern Virginia model, which is military based but augmented by the rapid growth in the alternative, clean and renewable energy industries.  In the United Kingdom, modeling and simulation is used for historic preservation, so it has a wide range of applications.

In sum, no one wants to see a shift in resources, especially when an industry has clustered around that resource, but for Hampton Roads to remain strong, it must work to save JFCOM as it works to create new niches and find new customers to support its ever-changing and exciting modeling and simulation cluster. 

Carole Cameron Inge
Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer
National Institute for the Commercialization of Clean Energy Inc.
Blackstone


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