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Letters

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Wake Up Bedford

For over three months, a committee from Bedford City Council has been meeting with a committee from the Board of Supervisors, behind closed doors, discussing whether the city of Bedford, after 40 years, should revert back to a town.

There are advantages and disadvantages. It may be a good thing but we will not know until all the facts are in and presented to the citizens at a public hearing.

Even though a referendum is not required, it would definitely be beneficial to let City Council know how the people feel. There is nothing to say we can't have a referendum, its just not required. I for one do not care to have seven people decide the fate of 6,300.

Fifteen years ago, a proposal was made to consolidate the city of Bedford and Bedford County into what is now called a tier city. The city requested a study be made by Thomas Muller, economic consultant and his report reflected that for the city estate tax would increase 55 cents from the then 71 cents rate to $1.26 per $100. Could this happen on reversion?

It appears that only two cities have successfully reverted to town status, South Boston and Clifton Forge. In South Boston's case it immediately resulted in reducing the city tax rate from 84 cents to 42 cents, but adding in the Halifax County tax rate of 38 cents (resulted in) a total rate 80 cents just 4 cents less than before revision. However after four years South Boston annexed part of Halifax County and this resulted in a rate of 19 cents and coupled with the then tax rate of 42 cents in Halifax County resulted in a tax rate of 61 cents, a 27 percent decrease. This only happened after annexation. South Boston's population, with annexation, increased from 6,000 plus to over 8,000.

There is much to be considered and we would definitely have to work with Bedford County. In case reversion does take place then let's do what the town of Bedford did before revision and elect the mayor by direct vote and not have council select the mayor. That's what South Boston did as well.

Dave Ballard

Bedford

Newsworthy event

In a recent letter Paul Greier accused this newspaper of manipulating news to the advantage of Tom Perriello, who is opposing Virgil Goode for Congressman from the 5th District.

He writes that he was a volunteer in a golf tournament held last fall as a fundraiser for the Bedford Domestic Violence Services program and that the tournament was not given front page coverage as was Perriello, and the interns working for him this summer, who were contributing their time to the same program.

To me, there is a significant difference_today we are in the middle of

a political campaign where newspapers through out the country are featuring stories on the thousands of young people who are volunteering to work in political campaigns. The picture of young volunteers helping in a community project, while working in a campaign, certainly seems a newsworthy event.

Eleanor English

Bedford

An affront to freedom

According to a number of press reports, President George W. Bush plans to attend the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China later this month.

Bush said that it "would be an affront to the Chinese people" if he stayed away. Other world leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, are choosing to not attend the opening ceremonies in the communist country.

Even the socialist President Franklin Delano Roosevelt showed more integrity than our so-called "conservative" President, G. W. Bush. When the 1936 Olympics were held in Berlin, Germany, Roosevelt refused to attend those ceremonies for fear that his presence would give honor and prestige to the notorious Adolph Hitler. And surely it would have.

President Bush said it would be an affront to the Chinese people if he did not attend the Olympics. Wrong! It would be an affront to the Red Chinese tyrants. And, they deserve to be affronted.

Instead, by attending the Olympic ceremonies, Bush is choosing to affront the hundreds of thousands of Chinese victims who have suffered brutality and barbarism at the hands of the very people Bush will be wining and dining with.

Actually, by participating in the Beijing Olympics, President Bush is an affront to freedom-loving people everywhere.

George Kelly

Bedford

Indecency

Do you remember Super Bowl 2004.

If not, let me refresh your memory. It was the famous half time show when Janet Jackson "had a wardrobe malfunction." If you believe it was a "malfunction" and not choreographed, I have some land in Bedford County with a view of the Peaks to sell you for $1.

Just last week the Third Court of Appeals threw out the $550,000 fine that the Federal Communications Commission assessed against CBS. I agree with Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, when he said "this goes beyond judicial activism; it borders on judicial stupidity . . . If a striptease during the Super Bowl in front of 90 million people ? including millions of children ? doesn't fit the parameters of broadcast indecency, then what does?"

This incident generated more than a half a million complaints, complaints that the Third Circuit Court either ignored or decided that a half a million people did not know what indecency is.

There is a remedy for this. It is Senate Bill 1780, the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act. Call Senator Harry Reid (202-224-3542) and ask him to schedule a vote on this bill. Then call Senator Jay Rockefeller (202-224-6472), he authored the bill and ask him to move this bill.

For more information on this and other bills: http://thomas.loc.gov/.

Janet Robey

Bedford

A woman's clothes

This paper will probably make a lot of people angry but someone needs to stand up for this issue. The woman's clothing that companies are making looks terrible. Women walking around with these clothes on are bad role models for younger girls. Women wearing clothes like this do not see that they are degrading themselves. So stay with me and read the whole paper.

The stars of today and some young women are bad role models because of the type of clothes they choose to wear. The famous women wear these clothes to entertain the viewer but those same types of clothes should not be sold. I know for a fact that a parent would not want their daughter wearing these types of clothes. Kids and teenagers look up to older women and movie stars.

These clothes make women look terrible. Why would a woman want her cleavage or her buttocks hanging out or her clothes? I'm not talking about the clothes that show a little bit of skin either. You should respect your body and only share it with the person you love. If a woman lets everything hang out then she looks like a lady of loose morals.

This whole clothing deal comes down to respect. A woman would get more of the right kind of respect if she covers up a little better. No woman wants to be known as looking trashy. This is a stereotype that would stay with you for a long time. This affects the way people look at your family also.

There are reasons why people choose to wear these types of clothes. To some it's just their own choice of style. Some women want guys to stare at them. The women wearing these clothes might say they have low self esteem issues. I don't think this is an excuse.

... You have to think about the type of respect you would get on your decision about this topic.

Mike Long

Bedford

Thank you

The officers and members of Liberty Masonic Lodge would like to thank all of those who came to their breakfast on July 5. We appreciate your support as we reach out to the community. Free Masonry is the oldest known fraternity. Through the years its members have contributed much to improve the quality of people's lives, ensure freedom, both personal and religious, and recognition of the dignity of all men and women.

Most people know the outstanding work of the Shriners and their hospitals that provide free medical care for children with special needs. What is generally not known is every Shriner has to be a Free Mason first before they can become a Shriner. Other Masonic bodies also have philanthropic programs for children. The Scottish Rite has its speech clinics, the Knights Templers have a vision program, etc. Everyone of the Masonic appended bodies require their members to be Masons first.

By participating in our breakfast, they have helped us to continue our commitment to the community in which we live. We invite you to join us September 1 for our Labor Day breakfast. Put it on your calendar and ask a Mason for tickets.

Gene Curd

Worshipful Master

Liberty Masonic Lodge

Bedford