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Perriello reflects voters

    Though he has received significant bad press locally, notably in letters to the editor by ultra-conservatives, Representative Tom Perriello accurately reflects the sum and substance of voters of the 5th District who put him in office.  Two issues stand out as targets for criticism:  energy and health care.

    Perriello is a proponent of clean energy.  As a native of the 5th District, he is keenly aware of the area’s agriculture and manufacturing sectors.  He voted for “Cap and Trade,” which would provide incentives for renewable technologies and cap carbon emissions.  Opponents claim the legislation will kill jobs and ruin the economy.  Perriello knows his district has already lost jobs (to the tune of 20 percent unemployment in Martinsville).  Clean energy projects could turn this around.  Already, one dairy farm is capturing methane from manure and making electricity from it.  Perriello calls it ‘Poop for Power.”  Americans are all for clean energy; Perriello’s district, which once supplied tobacco, can redefine itself with clean energy such as biofuel refineries.  UVA, located in the 5th District, has the energy research capacity to back the effort. 

    Tom Perriello also supports health care reform.  His constituents have suffered job loss, escalating costs of hospitalization insurance, and denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions or severe illness.  He has received thousands of emails and calls from those living in the 5th District, begging him to support health care insurance reform.

    It is time we who heartily approve Representative Perriello’s actions stand up and be counted.  Perriello continues to look out for us; he is working to move our district, and, ultimately the state of Virginia into an exciting and prosperous future.  He faces a barrage of attacks from well-organized and well-financed opposition groups, including a Washington lobbying firm, which forged letters urging him to vote against energy reform.  He endures rude, adolescent comments at Town Hall meetings and even an attempted vandalism of his private property from people who have, evidently, never progressed beyond the bullying techniques of the grade school playground. 

    Still, Tom Perriello has never wavered from what he knows must be done.    Decent, caring, intelligent, and informed citizens of the 5th District, despite partisan views, should recognize the stellar quality of our U.S. Representative, Tom Perriello.

Susan Coryell


History and


    Regarding the “History/Heritage” article in your recent This Is Bedford publication: Since the plaque on our wall indicates that Bedford Presbyterian Church has been proudly standing at the corner of Bridge and Main Street since 1844. And since it was Presbyterians who were tossing bricks from our front door step when General Hunter made his 1864 raid through town, I’m pretty sure that we were still active in 1890. So it was sad to see us omitted from the tally of “70 houses, two Baptist churches, one Free church, the Masonic Hall, two taverns, five mercantile stores, and one tobacco factory” which according to your article was all that was standing at the time.

    The next time you write the history, please return us alongside our Baptist and Free brothers and sisters as we wish to remain as active in Bedford’s history as we continue to be in her present.

Rev. John Salley

Pastor, Bedford Presbyterian Church

Not asked

    I don’t know who did the poll that said Bedford County taxpayers were willing to accept a raise in taxes to support the schools, but I wasn’t asked. I guess it was a select few as usual. I am against cuts to teachers and closing schools, but not against cutting the high salaries and perks of the administration.

    I don’t recall tax support for the people that lost their jobs at Bunker Hill Foods, Rubatex Corp. and Frank Chervan when they closed down, just to name a few. Taxpayers can’t support everything because a select few want it. Fixed income people can’t stand increases in taxes with utilities, food and health care increasing without raises to their income.

    Some of the money we spend in Bedford County seems a little bit far-fetched anyway. It’s hard to get a simple answer from some of the supervisors when you ask them a question. We seem to have a government system – local, state, and federal – that’s you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours! We need a lot of change!

Jimmy Cundiff


A job well done

    I don’t know her name…I don’t even know who she is but I would like to tell her that she does a wonderful job. 

    Who you say?  The woman who works for the sheriff’s department as a traffic guard at Liberty High School.  This woman does a fantastic job of keeping traffic moving smoothly and efficiently.  She is on the job early every time I’ve been early.   She does her job with zest and pride even in the rain or snow.  I’m glad that she is there and thank her for the effort she puts in every day.

Mary Beverley


Laying the groundwork

    For all Bedford County residents, like myself, who were disappointed by Rep. Tom Perriello’s unwillingness to truly listen to his constituents during the recent debate on healthcare reform, I have good news: on Monday, April 12 at 6 p.m. in the Bedford Science and Technology Center, we will begin laying the groundwork to unseat Rep. Perriello.  On that evening, the Republican Party of Bedford will elect a new chairman.  This year we have a great candidate for chair—Dolores Switzer, a strong, grassroots conservative activist.

    Having worked for Dolores as a volunteer at the Republican Party of Bedford’s headquarters last fall, I had the opportunity to work closely with Dolores and to get to know her as a person.  She is one of the most energetic and hardest working individuals I have ever known.  Dolores often spent hours of her spare time at headquarters making phone calls, assembling packets for visitors, coordinating volunteers and planning events to inform the Bedford community about social and fiscal conservatism and our superb statewide ticket of Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli.  I have no doubt that as chairman of the Republican Party of Bedford, Dolores will continue using her energy to grow the local party into a force that will be instrumental in the campaign to replace Rep. Perriello.

    Dolores does not want to be chairman because she thinks she deserves it; to the contrary, Dolores wants to be chairman because she knows the Republican Party of Bedford can be more active in advancing the cause of conservatism than it is currently.  Dolores has a detailed, eight-point plan for revitalizing the local party that includes (among other ideas) growing the party by reaching out to new voters and minority voters (demographics often overlooked by the GOP) and expanding opportunities for grassroots participation in Bedford—including creating special door-knocking and phone-banking teams. 

    Dolores has the record of conservatism, grassroots activism, as well as the energy, the work ethic, the ideas and both the familiarity with and dedication to Bedford County to make an outstanding chair at a time when principled, conservative leadership if badly needed.  Please join me in supporting Dolores Switzer, a true grassroots conservative activist, for chair of the Republican Party of Bedford!

Jason W. Johnson


Not smiling now

    My friend has a beautiful smile, but she is not smiling now.

    She spent most of her life as an object of discriminatory  actions and watched as her neighbors, members of the KKK, paraded past her home only years ago.  Those memories of intimidation don’t go away. 

    She is reminded of those times when she reads now about the hatred and anger being expressed towards our elected representatives. They have been spat upon and their properties vandalized during a time when they are trying to pass legislation that attempts to rectify neglect of the needy.  She watches as a new administration, which is focused on helping people, is being vilified by folks who don’t understand that what is best for our neighbors will benefit everyone.  

    Have we not progressed further than this in this country? It seems that, if we speak about what concerns us, we have more reason to fear the reactions of our fellow citizens, than  reason to fear the malevolent actions of nations beyond our borders.   I’m not smiling either.


Susan Bender


Conservative woman on the move

    I learned many important things while serving in the United States Air Force. Having retired from this organization, with 22 years of service and a Vietnam Veteran, I learned that there were three important principles for a successful organization and mission. They are: discipline, teamwork and leadership, as each are fundamental to personal and collective success.

    With the upcoming Republican Party of Bedford (RPB) Chairman election, I have found a candidate who possesses these three attributes. Her name is Dolores Mabes Switzer. As the daughter of a World War II and Korean War Veteran and the wife of a Vietnam Veteran, Dolores loves America! I can assure you that she is distressed by the course our nation is taking under the Obama Administration. By her hard working efforts as RPB Headquarters Chairman, Bedford Republican and Conservative voters were able to send Washington, D.C. a clear message last November. With her leadership as the RPB Chairman, Bedford will be at the forefront once again, bringing real change to Washington this November.

    I have known and worked with Dolores for the past several months on political campaigns and her accomplishments have put her head and shoulders above all others. She believes in the Republican Creed and has outlined an Eight-Point Plan to revitalize the Republican Party of Bedford.

    As my squadron commander used to say, “train your men and women as a team, but empower them to act, when appropriate, individually.” Dolores can do this because she is disciplined, a team worker and most of all a leader. All Bedford County/City registered voters, please join me in support of and cast your all important vote for Dolores Switzer on Monday, April 12, 2010, 7 p.m. at Bedford Science and Technology Center.

Douglas L Leavitt,

SMSgt, USAF, Retired


Global climate change

    Richard Ruff (letters 3/17/10) believes ignorance is at the heart of “global warming” as he calls it.  That might be the only thing right about his letter. But we differ on where the ignorance rests.

    He confuses global warming with the correct term global climate change, which recognizes that over the next years some areas will get colder as others get warmer—particularly the pole areas.  I note with interest that his detailing of this year’s cold weather did not include the overly warm weather at the Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.  Further, he apparently doesn’t understand the difference between weather and climate. But just like ignorance leads many to refute evolution that all reputable scientists accept as true, this same ignorance causes some to deny what most all climate change scientists accept—that our climate will change for the worse in the future, no matter what humans do to stop the fouling of our nest.  Some pollution effects are already unstoppable. But we have to direct our efforts at reducing the greater damage that we are facing if we don’t stop our current pollution rates. These rates have both a natural and a human component but we can control only the human part.

    We know evolution is true because we have been studying it so long. The study of global climate change didn’t begin in earnest until about the 1970s. Scientists had to develop from scratch the global climate change models and the data sets needed to run them.  These early models all predicted global mean average temperature increases. The fourth model is now available and with each new improved one, the increasing temperature trend is not only confirmed, but projected to have worsened since the previous model.

    Over 2,000 scientists worldwide are working on this incredibly complex issue.  The ignorance level about the complexity of the science and the variety of choices available to nations to combat climate change is astounding—particularly among the deniers.  The next global model due in 2014 will be better as will be the data sets necessary to run it. But these models must also input the decisions made by the world’s 190 some nations regarding their pollution limiting efforts.  The result is a function, not only of science, but of the political decisions made.  The climate change models are probably the most sophisticated ones ever attempted by humankind.  Deniers, in their ideologically, religiously, or simplistically driven ignorance apparently find it easy to ridicule the life-sustaining efforts of the thousands of dedicated scientists trying their best to provide the information to stave off the coming potential disaster. That is obviously easier than making the significant effort it takes to understand the issue.

    Do scientists know what will happen for sure—of course not.  Not only are their still uncertainties in the models and data sets, but the decisions of nations on needed actions are no where near agreement.  These are incredibly difficult and complex national political decisions.  Best current guesses are that at least two degrees centigrade warming and at least a one half meter rise in the ocean are probable.  Do all scientists agree—of course not.  But they strive for the best consensus values given the umpteen uncertainties.  What is not uncertain is that global climate change is real.

    Built into science is the requirement for peer review.  This is the self-correcting function so vital to good science.  But look what deniers do with this basic principle.  When normal disputes arise, such as the East Anglia  e-mail “spat,” rather than celebrating this as the important self-correcting way so essential to good science, they latch onto it with a “see I told you it was a hoax” attitude.  Science will surely survive the ignorance of the deniers, just like the concepts of Copernicus and Galileo survived the ignorance of the religious Inquisition.  Deniers will always be here, because it takes a concerted effort to educate oneself on complex issues and they apparently just don’t have what it takes.

    Rather than wasting time on some simplistic denier Web site, go to a reputable site that will help you learn where we stand on global climate change such as www.ipcc.ch or look it up at wikipedia.org. While I support all efforts for solving global climate change, I am not optimistic that humans will do it before we reach the tipping point.

    Deniers love to hate Al Gore, but he can defend himself without any help from me.  After all, not only was he awarded the Nobel Prize, but he shared it with the scientists of the International Panel on Climate Change.  Al Gore will be much more warmly regarded by history for his unselfish leadership contribution to saving the planet, than he ever would have been if he had been able to serve the Presidential term he really won.

David McLoughlin