Letters 04/02/14

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    Twenty-five plus years ago the city of Bedford was in the vanguard of municipalities that were facilitating the recycling of household waste. 
    My family was most impressed when we relocated here from Atlanta, which had virtually no residential recycling programs, to find that our new hometown, smaller than the neighborhood we had just left, offered curbside recycling.
    So now, with virtually no publicity or public input, the Town Council has approved a budget for the upcoming year which eliminates curbside recycling. One reason cited is the need for a new collection truck. However, the principal argument is that only 25 percent of households actually use the service.
    On the surface it would seem that this is therefore an unnecessary expenditure for the Town.  However, several questions come to mind.
    One, just because a household doesn’t put a container out every week doesn’t mean they aren’t using the service…they may simply not have enough waste to be worth putting out each week. Therefore, maybe bi-weekly service might be a cost saving option.
    Secondly, when counting the 75 percent of residents not doing curbside recycling, does that include renters, who generally are not provided containers nor, in some cases, even pickup service?
    Many other questions and even alternative solutions might have surfaced had there been a more public announcement of the intended change.
    But as the budget has now been officially adopted, that is all generally irrelevant. However, for the sake of the overall public good, I trust that the Town will carefully establish a benchmark of current recycling volume versus general trash disposal, and that at regular intervals in the future those recycling vs. landfill waste numbers will be studied.
    Who knows, perhaps at some point down the road we will decide that our priorities have been misplaced.

Bill Mosley

Why hunt them?

    I read with dismay the article in the Roanoke Times about the intrepid Bedford County coyote killers who arm themselves with high powered rifles, a “calling” device and night vision goggles in their quest to exterminate the deadly, ferocious coyote.
    According to the article, the Game and Inland Fisheries list coyotes as a nuisance animal who pose a threat to livestock and small pets, yet they report no fatalities for which coyotes are responsible.
    So why hunt them? Does a coyote taste like chicken? Is it for money? Killing for dollars. Maybe that could become a new reality TV show. These guys need a different hobby.
David Goode

Big Thank You

    We wish to thank the many sponsors, businesses who contributed door prizes and the great turn out for the GFWC Smith Mountain Lake Women’s Club’s 16th Annual GameFest that was held on March 19, 2014. 
    We had a full house and a very successful event.  We were able to raise over $6,500 this year and all of it will go to local charities in the lake area. 
    The charities that will receive donations this year are: Domestic Violence Center, Bedford; Family Resource Center, Franklin Co.; Friends of the Library, Moneta, Franklin County and Westlake; St Francis of Assisi (Service Dogs); Lake Christian Ministries; SML Good Neighbors; Southern Virginia Advocacy Center and Unbridled Change. 
    The club members and charities appreciate your participation in our yearly fund raising event.

Ginnie Ibaugh
Publicity Chairman
SML Women’s Club

Ready, set, go!

    Spring is here.
     It’s time to clean windows, dig in the dirt, and play on the water.  However, if we are raising crops, for others, or ourselves we should know.  If we are working in the yard, we should know.  If we are cleaning the house, boat, or dock, we should know. If we are taking medications, we should know.  If we plan on eating today and living on this planet tomorrow, we should know. 
    Fact...most of the items we purchase, including those from the mall, hardware and grocery stores, contain genetically modified organisms.  Fact...these GMOs are genes that are engineered from bacteria, viruses, and other sources.  Fact…GMOs are inserted into other substances to alter their make-up.  Fact...GMOs do not normally occur in nature, and are purposefully designed to alter basic cellular and DNA structure. Fact…GMOs impact our food supply to a great extent, and are not benign. 
    In fact, they can cause a great deal of harm.  Is the Roundup in your shed, also on your skin or in your lungs?
    Remember Agent Orange, 2,4-D and Vietnam?  We should know.
    Fortunately, some of our farmers have already figured this out and are eliminating GMO products from their crops.  It is not an easy task, nor one that is discussed in much of this area.  But some of the best growers know of its importance. 
    If we continue to allow our plants, pets, and bodies to ultimately disease and die from the effects of GMOs, that is our personal choice. But what if that personal choice affects the rest of the planet?  In order to be informed, we must read more information, re-make our decisions, and then act on them. 
    If we choose to avoid GMOs, we can simply stop purchasing the items that contain them.  It’s our right.  It’s that simple.  Everything we do is a choice.  Doing nothing is a choice.  You should know.

Susan Hughes

    National Volunteer Week marks a special time of year for The Fresh Air Fund, and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to our dedicated Fresh Air volunteers, hosts and supporters in Greater Lynchburg. Their continued dedication to our New York City children is exemplary for all community members and truly embodies the spirit of the 2014 National Volunteer Week, which is from April 6 to April 12.
    Fresh Air volunteers work in several capacities throughout the year in 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada to help make The Fresh Air Fund’s programs possible. Fresh Air host families open their hearts and homes, and share the everyday joys of summertime with their Fresh Air friends.
    Our local volunteer leaders – many of whom are also hosts – serve on our local committees, plan summer activities, publicize the program, and interview prospective host families. Additionally, individuals and local businesses give generously of their time and resources to make The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family Program throughout this area a great success each summer.
    The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children since 1877. For more information on how you can help to continue this wonderful tradition of volunteering, please call The Fresh Air Fund at 1-800-367-0003 or visit www.freshair.org.
Jenny Morgenthau
Executive Director
The Fresh Air Fund