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Speaking out

Thank you to the Bedford Bulletin Editor for speaking on behalf of residents and business owners, especially when Bedford City officials turn a deaf ear and require a proposed business owner to “build a sidewalk to nowhere.” The May 14 editorial is piercingly clear: City Planners, supported by (Assistant) City Manager Warner, are enforcing an ordinance in a way that is simply unfair and inconsistent, and needs to change.

The city is requiring the owner of a small business to build a sidewalk that will not connect pedestrian traffic because there are no other sidewalks to join. Worse, the city itself is not prepared to complete the sidewalk along Independence Avenue. If the sidewalk were so critical that the city would demand one owner to pay as much as $70,000, then why isn’t the city taking the responsibility upon itself and completing the project?

The answer is obvious: there is no need for a sidewalk on Independence Avenue. This is not intended to be a neighborhood with residences where people live, work, shop and play, and thus walk from one place to another. No, this is a place designed for vehicular traffic and businesses.

Then why would the city require a sidewalk here? This demand is so unreasonable that one has to wonder if there are other motives behind this ludicrous demand. To make matters worse, I understand that the city plans to expand Independence Drive in the future and will then destroy (and replace?) the sidewalk they are so firmly requiring today.

Actions speak louder than words. As a former resident and current co-owner of a business in the City of Bedford, the actions of city leaders are sending a message to small business owners: we don’t want you, and we are not prepared to cooperate with you in order for your business to be successful in the city. Is this the message our leaders intend to send? While I hope not, these actions speak volumes.

Small businesses pay taxes, provide jobs, support families and offer goods and services with personal attention that the big box stores can never match. I would hope the city officials who live and (hopefully) shop locally would understand that. Yet, here they are placing a demand on a small business so large that it may prevent the business from growing and so irrational that there seems to be no good reason.

I ask the City Planning Commission and the City Manager to take the right action here: waive this requirement for the Stanleys to build a sidewalk that is senseless. Instead, work with the many small businesses that are a vital part of our community, not against them, and our community will continue to grow and thrive and prosper.

Kudos to the editor for bringing these actions to light. The Bedford Bulletin stands in the role of the eyes, ears and voice of the community. I’m glad someone is listening.

Ken Burger

Big Island

Not the majority opinion

After reading the letter to the editor written by Ruby Wells Dooley and titled Read the Deed, we would like to state that Mrs. Dooley is entitled to her opinion, but we want it known that she does not represent the majority of Bedford County citizens, both young and old.

The Sheriff's Department, PSA, emergency communications, garage, group homes and Falling Creek Park are necessary to the running of Bedford County. Lots of money has been spent to ensure that the County residents have the proper facilities needed to run these services and according to Mrs. Dooley, there has been some type of deed violation due to these facilities being constructed, which dates back to 1832, over 175 years ago. We are sure when this deed was penned, the thought of future construction was not in the minds of those who did so, and if here today, they might have a different opinion about this.

Grant money has been issued by the state for construction of Falling Creek Park, as well as some of the other facilities that are in the area. Due to this, we do not feel people such as Mrs. Dooley should thumb their nose at this type of opportunity. Even though she may feel these facilities are not needed, we are here to say they are!

The new Falling Creek Park will be one of the most needed things for Bedford County, benefiting both young and old. We would like to ask why this seems to be such a big issue for her because the children, our grandchildren, are the future of Bedford County. Granted, not everyone has children or grandchildren, but as we stated before, this benefits everyone in Bedford County, not just the young. We would like to know if Mrs. Dooley has even visited the park to see what it has to offer to the seniors and others. With the walking trails, paved fitness trail, picnic facilities, shuffleboard and lots of other attractions, this park will well serve County citizens, both young and old.

As for the old nursing home facility; this should be used to house other government offices, such as the Parks & Recreation offices. This building would be such a godsend to that department, as they can help out the seniors in so many ways by having the room needed to do so. As partakers of the current senior programs offered by the County Parks & Recreation, we are very excited about what can be offered if they were to be allowed to move their offices to this building.

We should ask Mrs. Dooley, when is the last time she attended any of the senior programs offered by the County P&R Department. Maybe if she would try some of their programs, she would see the P&R Department does not just benefit the young, but seniors as well.

We would ask that all citizens, both young and old that agree with this letter, make their voices heard to the Board of Supervisors, as well as to citizens such as Mrs. Dooley, so others will understand that we all do not have the same opinion as she does!

Herb White and 29 others signed the letter


Bush invasion

The Bush invasion of Iraq was based on lies and constantly changing bogus rationales.

When the Iraqis awoke after the invasion, their world was turned upside down. The US was nominally in charge, but that was an illusion. No one was. Now after more than 4,000 troops have been killed, we are in an incredible mess of our making. We don’t know how many Iraqis have been killed as “collateral damage” because they aren’t important enough to count.

Our troops are so overstrained that we better hope no emergency occurs elsewhere. We continue to misplace our resources against terrorism and the Taliban increases in Afghanistan, the war we should be fighting.

Bush’s quagmire has only affected the soldiers and their families. The rest of us have felt no pain. We aren’t even being asked to pay the war costs—our grandchildren are. Suppose we had had a draft or a tax surcharge of 10 percent to fund the war. If the public had felt the pain, the war would be over. The Iraqis won’t get their act together until motivated by our leaving.

While the surge may have some positives, other factors are major contributors to the reduction in violence. In early 2007, violence began falling because the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad was mostly finished. It dropped further after Muqtada al Sadr declared a Mahdi army cease fire. Finally the Anbar Sunnis independently decided to abandon the insurgency. The US now funds the Kurdish Peshmerga, the Sunni Sahwa and the Iraqi Security Forces heavily infiltrated by the Sadr militia. All sides are now consolidating, rearming, and refilling their financial coffers, all at US expense. (Iraqi moms didn’t raise any dummies).

These tribal cultures have been fighting for 13 centuries. Even if we stay 100 years, as McCain has supported, do we really believe things will change? The British stayed in India for 100 years and still there was a bloodbath when they left, killing a million Hindus and Muslims.

The concern about a residual base left for al-Qaeda if we withdraw is utter nonsense. The Sunnis will destroy al-Qaeda if we leave Iraq. The Kurds do not allow them in their region and the Shiites, like the Iranians, detest al-Qaeda. Iraq is Bush’s mess and it will be a mess when we leave.

So let’s decide to leave now consistent with troop safety. If withdrawal takes 1 - 1 1/2 months per brigade, that means we’re still there for another 18-24 months. Can you imagine how long it will be and the continued costs if McCain becomes president?

David McLoughlin


Wake up America!

It is time to act! Hear what Chuck Baldwin has to say:

"Every year so-called 'conservative' Republicans warn us of the impending doom that would befall our country if the Democratic candidate were elected. And, this year is no different.

"Republicans had an opportunity to nominate a real American constitutionalist, a statesman in the similitude of Thomas Jefferson or James Madison. That man was Texas Congressman, Ron Paul. Unfortunately, the Republican faithful seem to be incapable of discerning the marks of true greatness, not to mention fidelity to constitutional government. It is doubtful that most of them even understand what constitutional government is. And, as for Christian conservatives, they can barely see any issues beyond abortion and 'gay rights'. To try and convince them to support a constitutionalist candidate is like talking to a brick wall.

"So, what choice does the Republican Party offer the American people this year? The worst of all possible choices: good old John 'McSame' McCain. On many issues, there is virtually no distinction between McCain and any potential Democratic candidate. John McCain is no friend of gun owners or pro-lifers. He is no friend to fiscal conservatives, to property owners, to 'family values' voters, to America's blue-collar workers, nor small business owners. He is no friend to opponents of illegal immigration."

At this point you may be asking: "Who is Chuck Baldwin?" He is the Constitution Party's candidate for President, and you will see him on your ballot in November. Those with computers, and can access the Internet, can log on to his campaign web site at: http://www.baldwin2008.com.

I, for one, am fed up with both major political parties. What we are faced with is not the "lesser of two evils," but the "evil of two lessers." McCain in the White House would actually be worse than Obama or Clinton because of the manner in which conservatives "go to sleep" whenever a Republican occupies the Oval Office.

We must strive to get our nation back to its Constitutional Republic, which our wise founders established,and stop talking "democracy." I don't know about other American citizens. But as for me, I am proud to salute the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic - not democracy - for which it stands.

George Kelly


Youth Philanthropy Committee

On April 24, 2008, The Greater Lynchburg Community Trust, its Youth Philanthropy Committee, and Wachovia Bank made its Fifth Annual Youth Philanthropy Award to Jubilee Family Development Center in the amount of $10,000.

This annual program is designed to create awareness in area youth of the importance of philanthropy and service in the community. The grant recipient program must be primarily for youth.

The Youth Philanthropy Award was selected by a committee of 22 high school seniors representing the 11 public high schools located in the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell and the city of Lynchburg.

The program was established as the centerpiece of the 30th anniversary celebration of The Greater Lynchburg Community Trust. Wachovia Bank played a central role in the founding of The Community Trust and has continued to be an integral partner in its activities since that time. Wachovia Bank has graciously provided the funding for the Youth Philanthropy Award.

Listed are the members of the Youth Advisory Committee:

Amherst County High School – Morgan Fletcher & Adam Hughes

Appomattox County High School – Patricia Evans & Adam Marshall

Jefferson Forest High School – Jessica Jefferson & Ellen Watson

Liberty High School – Drew Padgett & Kelly Vaeth

Staunton River High School – Isaac Goode & Sarah Vaden

Altavista High School – Sharlay Jaudon & Elliott Perkins

Brookville High School – John Deacon & Kelcey Thurman

Rustburg High School – Maria Cruz & Elizabeth Williams

William Campbell High School – Ashley McHaney & Randall Whaley

E.C. Glass High School – Mark Armstrong, Jr. & Colleen Bowen

Heritage High School – Taylor Smith & Jasmine Stevenson

Our committee would particularly like to thank Wachovia Bank and Mike Bradford for its continued funding of this award.

Stuart J. Turille

Advisory Committee Chairman