- The Washington Times - Friday, July 24, 2009


I was delighted to read the article “McDonnell sees revenue in privatized liquor stores” (Page 1, Wednesday). It is not in keeping with political correctness that the biggest pusher in Virginia is, gulp, Virginia.

Now, I must admit that the commonwealth doesn’t go out of its way to design those stores since they have all of the ambience of an execution chamber. Still, the government ought not to be in the booze-peddling business. Even more to the point, if they were sold, as Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell urges, Virginia would almost surely make more money selling licenses, gathering taxes from owners and employees — plus business and property taxes to localities.

I also favor the tollbooths on Interstate 95 and Interstate 85 but wonder why he left out Interstate 81. It is far too easy for a traveler to cross into Virginia from Maryland and not stop to do any business until reaching North Carolina or Tennessee. I-81 is a very busy, almost dangerous, highway heavily laden with trucks. The trucks need to pay their way.

Furthermore, I support a wider I-66 and have never understood why Arlington is against widening it. I personally don’t much care for inhaling exhaust fumes from cars jammed to a standstill a couple of hours each day or frustrated drivers smoking through residential streets.

Also, I hope Mr. McDonnell can reopen the rest stops, but again I never have understood why they provide no more than tourist information, coin-dispensed snacks and toilets.

I am delighted that Mr. McDonnell plans to raise speed limits on interstates. I have little hope that we will see the joys and speeds of the German autobahn, where I used to cruise at 130 miles per hour, but 70 is better than droning along half-asleep at 55 mph.



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