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Virginia Farmers Need Education on Pollution 

Peter Galuszka's article (“Governor Opposes Water Regs: Could Cost City $30 Million,” Street Talk, July 28) implies things that are inaccurate. He wonders why the governor would want to “educate farmers.” Perhaps it is because the governor has seen the statistical data showing that nonpoint source pollution from farms is a major source of the pollutants at this time. Yes, cows “pooping” in tributaries is a major source of (fecal, phosphorus and nitrogen) pollution in our drinking water and in the Chesapeake Bay.

Why didn't Galuszka ask the question of the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Conservation and Recreation: “Why isn't the governor attacking Smithfield Foods, rather than picking on farmers?” Galuszka could have given their answers (as quotes), rather than simply making a disparaging political remark. The scientists could have forwarded him the pie charts and statistics. He would have been able to write a true and accurate account — with statistics. His article shows he knows little to nothing about this problem. He prefers slinging poop, rather than cleaning it up, perhaps?

What he has written is poor reporting — giving an opinion, rather than stating the facts. Being this inaccurate throws a shadow on everything else he writes. After reading the other opinion pieces listed under Street Talk, I see that some are news articles, others are salted with opinions. I guess that's why you call it Street Talk. Why not be accurate and title it “Gossip,” and remove the factual articles to a section titled “News Briefs”?

Pat O'Bannon
Henrico County

Editors' note: Style stands by the story.

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