Article rehab


I am the owner of Passages Physical Therapy, and appreciated C-VILLE Weekly contacting me for an interview about my special wellness class, printed in the March 2008 issue of SUGAR. Unfortunately, some vital information is missing and some points were grouped in a way that became misconstrued.

It is important to note that women need to speak up about symptoms to their medical providers. My class is designed to help prevent problems and raise awareness of specific ways to learn and update Kegel exercises. New Kegels are about how to activate the “Floor of your Core” in conjunction with your daily routine to avoid imbalance or pain issues. My monthly wellness class empowers women with this vital knowledge.
I am concerned that some of the descriptions don’t appear to reflect my own wording. I did not say or discover that “particularly very active women, such as aerobic instructors and runners” have a problem and aren’t properly exercising. I expressed it can be difficult to make sure the muscles are working properly, even for some fitness instructors and runners. 

Fitness instructors actually tend to be a very aware group and pelvic floor exercises are included in some workouts. I applaud their personal and instructional efforts.

Some women just have problems that need evaluation and personalized physical therapy to help rehab their muscles. The muscles don’t always coordinate well with the rest of the core support team, even with good instruction and intent.

Thank you again for your interest in my class.

Pat Salin Huston, MSPT

Divine equality

I would like to comment on a letter from Jeanne Hamilton [“Wonderful World,” Mailbag, April 1, 2008] that states that even though Christians “sometimes lose their heads when their faith is assaulted,” in a cartoon like the one in The Cavalier Daily that caused a big stir, “isn’t it wonderful that with Christians at least the cartoonists don’t lose theirs?” While the point is well taken that cartoonists here are not beheaded for exercising their freedom of speech, the fact is that it’s our secular laws that prevent this, not the (often widely interpreted) religious tenets of those who feel offended. Were this a theocracy, cartoonists offending Christians might indeed face harsh punishment or death. In fact, history shows Christianity’s record to be quite harsh on the issue of dealing with dissonance. What bothered me about Ms. Hamilton’s letter is the implied “We are better than them,” but doesn’t the Bible itself say that when anyone among us suffers, we all suffer? I hope that we can seek out similarities with those we perceive as unlike ourselves and strive to understand one another rather than perpetuate an “us versus them” mentality that keeps the world in a state of discord. In this way, the highest spiritual callings of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and all the world’s religions may flourish side by side, along with secularism, as we journey towards our potential as humans on this planet together.

Anita Holmes

Playing the averages

Although I routinely enjoy reading your newspaper, I am quite dismayed by the “Singletary falls flat” feature [News From This Just In, April 1, 2008]. The writer questionably suggests that “Sean Singletary fell flat against Bradley in his last college game” and Singletary’s 17 points were a subpar performance for the UVA player. Had the writer done a bit of research, he or she would have found that Singletary’s 17 points during the game were just 2.8 below his season average and 0.25 points above his career average. Furthermore, to infer that Singletary’s performance somehow cost UVA a win in the tournament is incorrect. The mere presence of Sean Singletary over the past four years has given UVA a significant chance to win any game they have played. 

The negative tone of this writing is extremely disheartening to this area resident and UVA basketball fan. Perhaps a greater degree of respect should be afforded a young man who has brought more positive regional and national exposure to Charlottesville than any student-athlete in recent memory and, dare I say, more than your quality periodical has in that same time period.

I will continue to avidly read your newspaper and hope to read more respectful coverage of Charlottesville’s citizens.

John R. Snoddy

Rein in the criticism

I have been a CSA subscriber for the past five years and have used two different CSAs and now I am a member of Horse and Buggy [“Trouble in Paradise,” April 1, 2008]. I believe in the goals of CSAs and I’ve gardened so I know that you either have too much of something or never enough. All of the produce has been very good.

However, the CSAs that I’ve dealt with (one of which you named in your article) were very disorganized. They never seemed to know what was happening nor to be able to tell everyone. The fact that vegetables are seasonal and that sometimes you have too much could have been better explained to members. Many people were unhappy, but everyone could have used communication and organization. When there were problems with the garden, it should have been explained. The drought one year had a major effect, but it was not mentioned as much as it needed to be.

With Horse and Buggy, you may not be getting “organic,” but you do know what you’re getting and you know if he got something extra or special. You referred to blueberries from New Jersey as a criticism since it’s no longer so local, but it’s also not usual. The usual is that Brett and April keep delivering these heavenly limas which were picked by someone from the Valley. You hear about how their business has helped allow other farmers start up new poultry businesses. If you ever want to know something about where anything comes from, they both are more than happy to tell you. They are both very transparent.

The other thing you get is humor! They are so good natured in dealing with everyone. They make it a pleasure. The air is so filled with sanctimony at other CSAs that you can barely eat the vegetables. But with Brett and April, there is laughter and children and dogs running around helping. There are times when you can see their bodies so tired from the multiple trips to get the veggies, the chicken, the fish, the meat, etc, but still there is laughter.

CSAs need to kick back and enjoy it all! There’s room for everyone and different philosophies in alternative food purchasing. It’s a disappointment that there could be such dissension in this alternative.

Gloria Bowers

The impossible dream

In regards to Chip Knappenberger’s article [“Sisyphus or Hercules,” Opinion, April 8, 2008], his assessment is dead-on. Considering the task before us, it will take a Herculean effort of monumental proportions just to keep up with the energy demand in Virginia, much less meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. What the average Virginian doesn’t know is that right now today, Virginia is the second largest importer of electricity in the United States behind California. Just to keep up with projected energy demands in the next 10 years, Dominion would have to add approximately 4,000 megawatts of generating capacity to the state’s electrical system. Even if every bit of it was met by renewable energy, which is virtually impossible, it wouldn’t even begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because that figure assumes we keep every existing coal, gas, oil, and nuclear station we’ve got in operation.

Thankfully, there’s hope. I encourage your readers to support new nuclear power in Virginia. For over 30 years, Dominion has been safely operating four reactors that provide more than one-third of the state’s electrical needs without emitting any greenhouse gases. New advanced reactors are even safer and more reliable than existing reactors, and it’s clear that we need every nonemitting form of generation that we can get.

Michael Stuart

The fable’s new clothes

Like Chip Knappenberger in his Opinion piece “Sisyphus or Hercules,” [April 8, 2008], I also spent that same day at the UVA Miller Center listening to the presentations at the Virginia Commission on Climate Change March 27, 2008.

The Director presented a stirring reminder of the origins and aims of the Center, including that it be a forum for open discussion of a variety of topics without political bias. A few sentences later, it became obvious to me that the proceedings of the day were destined to be a preprogrammed reaffirmation of a political mandat—i.e., global warming is manmade, is bad, and must be changed through arbitrary political mandates. Each formal speaker repeated this dogma in various forms.

Rather than drawing from Greek mythology, the particular legend/fairy tale that comes to my mind is that of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Suit.”

In this fable, the emperor had become quite enamored of his clothing and was quite willing to accept the offer of some out of town salesmen. They would weave a fabric so extraordinary and beautiful that it could be seen only by those intelligent and fit for office, such as himself. The others would see nothing. The scam worked until a little child loudly proclaimed “But he has nothing on at all.”

In this setting, the little child would have proclaimed that the United Nations World Meteorological Organization reported that global temperatures have not risen since 1998, in spite of 10 years of increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

The little child would have shouted out that climate scientist Roy Spencer’s analysis of NASA’s Aqua satellite data shows that atmospheric water vapor has a negative feedback effect on CO2 warming rather than the positive effect assumed by the UN’s climate computers and a science member of the Commission. These data remove the justification for scary run away global temperature scenarios.

The child would have spoken up and repeated the National Public Radio report that the 3,000 robots of NASA’s Argo system have found no warming of the oceans during the past five years, contradicting the claimed 80 percent to 90 percent of ocean warming to result from global warming.

The little child would have wept out loud when he heard a student from Brazil speak. The child would remember the TIME article of March 27, 2008, “The Clean Energy Scam,” detailing the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, at a double rate this year. Poor farmers are destroying the rainforest to gain soy bean farm land to feed themselves and replace existing food farm land now exploited for biofuels. The child would also call out the reminder that recent studies from The Woods Hole Institute and Princeton University show that the life cycle environmental costs of biofuels are about twice that of ordinary gasoline and net carbon savings will take many decades to break even.

By now the little child is quite hoarse and getting tired, but still has strength to blurt out his wonder why so little had been said about ways of adaptation to climate change, hot or cold, as his ancestors had been doing for thousands of years.

As noted in the ancient past, “out of the mouth of babes, oft come pearls.”

Charles G. Battig, M.D.
Albemarle County