One year ago, my 84-year-old father suffered serious burns on both hands. He received skilled medical care from MCV professionals, but it was Roosevelt, still working in the Burn Unit, who healed his spirit. Roosevelt sat with him prior to his surgery for a skin graft; Roosevelt met him at each visit with genuine warmth; Roosevelt was able to reassure him as no one else could.
You might be interested to know that the MCV Burn Unit staff has such respect for this man that the treatment room there has been named in his honor. If you visit there, you will see the Roosevelt Williams Treatment Room. Roosevelt Williams is truly one of Richmond's finest citizens.
Kathy Ellis, RN
The Issue Is Gays
The letters about the Catholic Church raise several issues (Letters, June 12). Those who continue to remain committed to doctrinaire religion should stop finger-pointing at others and face reality head-on and demand change.
Beyond this, psychoanalysts have always defined pedophilia as preying on victims aged 10 and under. The Catholic issue is not pedophilia, but homosexuality, despite attempts to accommodate and redefine pedophilia to include 13-year-olds. Accommodation encourages denial and enables the condition to continue.
Review Riverfront Plans
I am writing to raise some concerns about the proposed rezoning before Richmond City Council, the Planning Commission and staff for the land along the banks of the James from 18th Street, downstream east to the county line ("Group Urges Smart Riverfront Development," Street Talk, June 12). Is the proposed rezoning, without proper study for economic impacts, killing the goose that laid the golden egg?
The city pocket book is lean. We do need to find ways to increase the coffers. The population of the city has been declining for years. The neighborhoods that have bucked that trend and increased in value (increased the city coffers with real estate tax dollars) have been to a large extent along the river.
Why this fast track? Who benefits from this escalated timetable? Whose interests are served by bypassing an in-depth economic-impact study? The developers who have options due to expire in the fall are the only ones.
Without the proper assessment we could be looking at another development gone bad. At the time of sale, whether the land is developed or not, landowners will get the dollars that the new zoning classification gives them. Because of the cost of purchase, the new buyers will be compelled to build high-density, view-blocking high-rise buildings to justify their costs.
Thus the taxpayers will be left with the drain in the city budget for the costs of land and engineering for new roads, water supply and sewer lines, and lighting. In effect, taxpayer dollars will be going to the pockets of the development partners. And we have compromised the public's access to the river.
The proposed ordinances defined by City Council and the planning staffs deserve a thorough review to increase the success in developing this important, enduring, natural asset of the city. Residents have a right to know the impacts of what the city is preparing to do and where the new districts will be located.
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