News & Features » Miscellany

Bluegrass story hit all the right notes; Mattaponi want federal recognition


Bluegrass story hit all the right notes
I wanted to express to how much I appreciate the wonderful article on bluegrass cover story, Oct. 24. Brandon Walters did a splendid job of conveying the meaning of bluegrass to the generally uninformed masses of Richmond. I write a small, six-page newsletter for my bluegrass club, The Virginia Bluegrass Family. My job is relatively easy, since my readers are already bluegrass lovers. I don't have to try to enlighten them, all I have to do is tell them what is happening around Central Virginia that is related to bluegrass music. Walters, on the other hand, had to try to get the feel and excitement of bluegrass music over to her readers with one short essay. I believe she accomplished her task with aplomb. When I think about how she has to move from one topic to the next, week after week, it amazes me that she, or anyone else for that matter, can learn what is needed to convince her readers that she knows of what she writes. My hat is off to her! I believe that if she so desired, she could take her journalistic talents to any heights. Don't let this one article be the last about my music, bluegrass. Bluegrass may be considered by some to be niche music, but if that is so, it is a mighty large niche. Keep up the good work at Style Weekly. Gary Robertson Mattaponi want federal recognition
State Indian leaders have a number of compelling reasons for choosing not to participate in Gov. Jim Gilmore's unveiling of the Virginia 25-cent piece (The Score, Oct. 24). The coin commemorates the founding of Jamestown, an event that brought discrimination and loss of land to Virginia's native people. The Mattaponi tribe is fighting a proposed reservoir that could threaten its centuries-old shad-fishing tradition. The Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the EPA are all opposed to this project, but through the efforts of Gov. Gilmore and the City of Newport News, the reservoir remains a threat. Gov. Gilmore fears that the tribes will develop casinos if they receive federal recognition. The Indians have no interest in gambling and have demonstrated this through their decision to not allow bingo on the reservations. Considering Virginia's support of a state lottery off-track betting and horse betting, Gov. Gilmore's concerns seem hypocritical. The tribes want the education, health and other benefits available through federal recognition. Without the backing of Virginia's top politicians, it will be very difficult for the Indians to obtain this status. Castle O'Neill

Add a comment