Black's Library Policy Lauded
Given the multiple numbers of recently published letters criticizing Del. Dick Black for his support of porn-free Internet service in the public libraries, I believe it is necessary to set the historical record straight concerning the Library Board's Internet policy. As a member of the Library Board, Col. Black was the primary author of the original Library Board Internet policy. The original policy required filtered access as a standard configuration, with adults having the option of having the filter turned off. Parents also had the option of allowing their children, under adult supervision, to access the Internet with the filter deactivated. This policy was approved by the Library Board.
Almost immediately upon approval, liberal elements, like "Mainstream Loudoun," cried censorship and threatened a lawsuit against the board and/or county. A parliamentary maneuver sponsored by a board member resulted in the original policy being rescinded. Col. Black then drafted a second policy, which eliminated the option of having the filter turned off for anyone. Much debate in this paper and elsewhere ensued, and a public hearing on the policy was held. Once again, "Mainstream Loudoun" types cried censorship and threatened a lawsuit if the new policy was accepted. A significant argument made against the new policy was that this violated the American Library Association's (ALA) credo of no censorship (even by parents of minor children) of any material in libraries.
We all know that Mainstream Loudoun, along with the ACLU, was successful in winning their lawsuit opposing the second Internet policy. The result is that the current Internet policy in place is very similar to the original policy Col. Black authored. I don't know if Col. Black wrote the second, stricter policy with the intent of demanding a loaf and a half to ensure getting a full loaf or not. I spoke out in favor of the original policy and against the second policy at the public hearing. But we all owe Col. Black a debt of gratitude for getting reasonable control over what Loudoun's children are exposed to in our public libraries. Without his efforts, we would be stuck with the ALA's and ACLU's outrageous policy of granting minors unfettered access to everything on the Internet, irrespective of their parent's wishes or the harm it could do to the children. After the Littleton, Colo., crimes, even the president and vice president acknowledged that a minor's blanket access to everything on the Internet was harmful to the children and dangerous for society. Col. Black took steps to protect our children from the dangers of the Internet long before it became chic to take that "extreme" position in liberal circles.
CHRISTOPHER RHEA PHILLIPS
Remove Black From Office
I am not a very political person, but watching Dick Black work the polls at the Republican primary May 22 leads me to the realization that I can no longer sit back and say nothing while this reprehensible man rockets out of control. My wife is fond of quoting Edmund Burke: "For evil to flourish, good men must do nothing." I can no longer do nothing.
For a man who professes a personal philosophy of wanting to protect women and children, Black has a strange way of showing it. His vicious attacks on his opponent in his first primary, his intervention last summer when Loudoun officials were concerned about the welfare of an elderly woman in the care of an eccentric son, and his personal attacks against my wife, who sits on the Library Board, have led me to believe that he has a very strange sense of how to protect women.
Most recently, he has called the Library Board "profoundly evil" and "dedicated to bringing pornography into the library," backed legislation permitting students to store weapons in their cars at school and sponsored legislation allowing patrons to carry concealed weapons in bars and restaurants. Instead of working for issues critical to Loudoun County this past session, he spent time sponsoring special message license plates.
But if for no other reason than his staging of a media stunt in which he publicly displayed pornography in my local library, violating an agreement he had just signed, I urge the voters of the 32nd District to remove this man from office by voting for Supervisor Dave McWatters in the primary.
GORDON A. SWENSON
McWatters a Welcome Choice
A number of letters have reported the unorthodox activities of Dick Black, ranging from slandering anyone who opposes him, and breaking the rules e.g. at the library when he deliberately called up porno material on the Internet leaving it to be seen by the lady librarian (wonder what his reaction would have been had someone done the same to his wife?) who had to demand he remove it. Supposedly all this was in support of his anti-pornography stand. Well, I'm sure there are many of us who are also anti-pornography, but it doesn't go hand in hand that Dick Black and his unethical approaches should then receive our vote on June 8.
It is noted that now in the last throes of the campaign, Black is holding true to form and denigrating his opponent Dave McWatters. Maliciously labeling him as a supporter of "sprawl" is just more of Black's ill-founded wild charges. McWatters openly supported and voted for Supervisor Scott York's APFO recommendation, supported the reduction of density in the Dulles and Toll Road plans, supported increased developer contributions and many other slow-growth ideas. But, it appears Black's political strategies don't include checking things out before making charges.
Black's campaign literature is questionable. He claims as his "accomplishments" the reduction in car taxes (gee, I thought the governor had something to do with this). Sure, on this and other things he may have voted to support the bills, but these are not then to be claimed as his sole "accomplishments." Voters, read this material very carefully and question the validity of his self-promoting claims.
Dave McWatters is a welcome choice. He served 21 years in the Marine Corps (two tours in Vietnam) receiving a rare field commission under a program recognizing "exceptional leadership"; was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal on two occasions, the Navy Achievement Award with Combat V and numerous other military awards.
Mr. McWatters has been a Realtor since 1981, serving as the director of the Virginia Associations of Realtors, president of the Dulles Area Association of Realtors, a recipient of the Realtors Ethics award, Salesman of the Year Award and many other honors in real estate associations. Always active in county matters, McWatters has served on the Loudoun County Economic Development Committee, Virginia Housing Development Advisory Committee, active in the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, and many other committees relative to supporting the health and welfare of Loudoun County citizens.
Elected to the County Board of Supervisors in November 1995 (receiving about 70 percent of the votes cast), McWatters has served as chairman of the all-important Internal Operations/Policy-Legislative Committee representing the board to the General Assembly. At the same time serving as a member of the Transportation Committee, commissioner of the Northern Virginia Transportation Committee (NVTC), legislative committee of the NVTC, Route 28 Tax District Committee. He is recognized as pursuing a thorough analysis of problems before the board and a balanced approach to the solutions.
From the above it can readily be seen Dave McWatters is a citizen involved in Loudoun County and the 32nd District in a variety of ways, all of which serve as an excellent background to well represent the area in Richmond. Dave is honest and a man of integrity. Actions he takes will be in the interest of the citizens and not for self-serving purposes. His 20 years' experience of living in this county, working in the county and serving in an elected position surely surpass that of his opponent who has been here only three years and whose actions/motives have been questionable and controversial.
Loudoun Extra welcomes your opinions, which run on Thursdays and Sundays. Letters, which may be edited for length, should include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers so we can verify authorship. Deadlines are noon Tuesday for Thursday publication and 6 p.m. Thursday for Sunday publication. Send them to:
Letters to the Editor
305 Harrison St. SE
Leesburg, Va. 20175