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On Friday, April 25, youth in Bedford participated in Global Youth Services Day.

On this international day of community service, more than 75 individuals took part in many worthwhile activities throughout Bedford County. The staff of Bedford Community Resource Center would like to thank all of the groups, businesses, organizations, and individuals who made this such a remarkable day.

Our thanks go to the Safe Haven staff, parents and children for hosting a crafts and game activity at the community center of John Early Apartments. We appreciate the students of New Hope Academy, as well as the teachers and staff members, for participating in four community service activities: visiting a nursing home, spending time at an adult day care center, reading to youngsters at a local preschool, and volunteering at the Botanical Gardens in Lynchburg.

We are grateful to members of the Junior/Brownies Troop 574, under the leadership of Leasa Torrence, for beautifying the grounds of Otter River Elementary School. We are also very grateful to Kiwanis of Bedford and Pizza Hut of Bedford for providing a pizza lunch for volunteers. Thanks to everyone who joined in this day of celebration, service, and hope.

Karen Hughes and Wanda Cooper

Bedford Community Resource Center

Our Credit Card Commercial

Saturday our 7-year-old grandson Kolin Minnick rode to the stock yard with grandaddy, while maw-maw went to yard sales.

When she got home with a 50 cent pair of bib overalls (just like grandaddy's) no amount of money could have bought that smile.

It was "priceless!"

Kenneth and Doris Stanley


Tourism means a healthy economy and jobs for Smith Mountain Lake

Imagine Smith Mountain Lake without our visiting tourists. Our shops, marinas, restaurants, gas stations and especially hotels would be hard-pressed to flourish without the presence of guests.

Many of our resident families in the lake area benefit from tourism-related jobs. How would our local economy be impacted if those who holiday here decided to go elsewhere?

We consider this question during National Tourism Week (May 10-18) and indeed throughout the year. And not only what is the impact of tourism locally but what is its importance throughout Virginia as a whole?

As you’re likely seeing on television or hearing on a number of radio stations, we are doing our very best to promote Smith Mountain Lake through the new “Closer Than You Think” ad campaign which began on April 1 and will run through June 15. These commercials are running on stations from Raleigh, N.C., and north to Washington D.C. and into Maryland.

Perhaps you’ve caught the spot on American Idol, The Today Show, Meet the Press, Jimmy Kimmel Live and National Public Radio programming among many other shows.

Our goal is to demonstrate the beauty of Smith Mountain Lake and welcome visitors to our area.

Most recent data from the Travel Industry of America shows that tourists spent $17.7 billion in Virginia in 2006 and helped support 208,000 jobs across the state. Here at Smith Mountain Lake, visitors’ spending provides much-needed funding to our regional tax base. Research demonstrates that every dollar Virginia invests in tourism marketing generates $5 in tax revenue. That’s a 5 to 1 return on investment.

State taxes generated from tourism in Virginia could pay for the salaries and benefits of more than 11,500 new state police officers or over 1,900 miles of road – the distance from Virginia Beach to Denver, Colo., or the education of over 80,000 Virginia students. The bottom line is tourism touches our lives every day in a positive way.

National Tourism Week is an ideal time to celebrate Virginia’s incomparable tourism capabilities. With presidential homes, glistening beaches, inspiring mountain vistas, treasured historical sites, exciting theme parks, America’s best state parks, the best in outdoor recreation, fabulous restaurants and more than 130 wineries – Virginia truly has it all.

When we see out-of-state license plates here at the lake and meet visitors here on vacation, please say hello, ask them how they are enjoying their stay and encourage them to return and bring their friends and family. They are crucial to our healthy economy.

Vicki Gardner

Executive Director, Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce


About amalgam fillings

I have to thank Tom Wilmoth for bringing to light an excellent and controversial article back in December 2006, about the severe case of mercury poisoning from the unsafe removal of a "silver" filling that Marie Flowers had and continues to struggle with.

A local dentist told me that I had some cracked teeth due to years of having amalgam fillings, which had the potential of leaking mercury. Due to Marie Flower's enlightening article and more research on my own, I went to see Dr. Virtue in NC, whom is a biological dentist. I chose him because he believes in and practices the Hal Huggins' method and has had years of experience in the safe removal of amalgam fillings along with replacing them with composite fillings.

After the removal of all my fillings, I immediately noticed that when I brushed my teeth, I didn't taste metal anymore and my thinking became sharper and more in focus. These two reasons alone made the entire procedure worthwhile and was a positive experience for me.

I have to ask though, if mercury is considered one of the most toxic substances on earth, wouldn't it just make sense for dentists to use viable non-filling mercury substitutes? There are dentists that might say once the amalgam is in the tooth and hardened, it is not toxic. But, what if the tooth cracks as in my case? We may not know how long that crack has been there and how long there might have been the possibility of mercury leakage.

A person may choose an amalgam filling over the composite because it is less expensive and is said to last longer than a composite. I wonder if people who choose amalgam were educated to understand both sides of the issue, would they still choose amalgam, especially with a toxic substance that's located in your mouth near your brain. As in Marie's case, after a tooth had broken off, she had a dentist "patch" a tooth until she saw her local dentist.

Right away, she tasted metal in her mouth. Then, when her local dentist drilled the filling out to prepare for a crown, she inhaled the mercury vapors which went into her brain. This was the start of Marie's decline in health as she began to experience very unusual and frightening symptoms she never had before. Her dentist also neglected to properly clean out all of the previous amalgam filling so when placing a crown over that, it caused deterioration of her tooth and created other major health issues.

Many physicians are not aware of symptoms of mercury poisoning, which may mimic other ailments instead. For this reason, a person could be misdiagnosed and treated for symptoms of other illnesses never really finding the underlying root cause being mercury poisoning. As in Marie's case, once she educated herself, she then knew where to go to get the right diagnosis and the help she desperately needed. This issue is also an environmental one. By eliminating amalgam, which is 50 percent mercury, we can reduce mercury pollution. It would make sense to eliminate amalgam use not only for our generation, but for future ones, too.

I must also thank Marie Flowers for educating me, as she has been instrumental as to why my teeth are mercury-free. I am eternally grateful. I hope this article along with Marie's story about her mercury poisoning, will allow us all to perhaps think out-of-the-box by asking more questions and making more informed decisions instead of just following along with mainstream thinking.

Nancy Kartowski


Not a democracy

I question what is promulgated, day-after-day, by the media and taught in our institutions of learning, about how important and wonderful our "democracy" is.

America is not a democracy. Our Founding Fathers hated democracy. They saw great danger in it, and established a republic. That is, a government under constitutional law with a system of checks and balances.

Thomas Paine, that firebrand of the American Revolution, considered democracy the vilest form of government. Republican Government is based on Tom Paine's premise that : "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil: in its worst state, an intolerable one."

James Madison, father of the Constitution, wrote in The Federalist No. 10: "In a democracy, there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property, and have in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."

Thirty eight years after the Declaration of Independence, John Adams warned: "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide."

John Marshal, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835 observed:

"Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos."

Ms. Devvy Kidd, highly sought after constitutionalist speaker, writer and columnist for NewsWithViews.com had this to say in a recent article: "The mobs of democracy are stomping our republic into the ground while cowardly, degenerate politicians grovel for their votes. Democracy, underground or above ground, is still the same thing: disaster and a bastardization of our legal form of government."

Consider this excerpt of the following letter to the editor of a newspaper somewhere in Ohio:

...My loyalty is not to a political party, but to God, family and country. That means that I will support any candidate who will abide by an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. It is because we elect crooks and traitors who violate their oaths of office that we are in so much trouble.

I will no longer vote for the lesser of two evils, as that is still voting for evil. Even if my candidate loses, my conscience will be clear. I suggest Republicans and Democrats do as I do, instead of being loyal to any political party. (Thomas W. Lippit, Woodsfield, Ohio)

The paragraphs of Mr. Lippit's letter describe me to a "T".

George Kelly,


America is thinking

While I thoroughly disagree with what the Rev. Wright said, I am very glad he said it, because it has all America thinking. But I'm afraid they are not thinking along the right lines.

Many of them are thinking along racial lines, some are thinking along political lines, but very few, if any, are thinking along spiritual lines; and that is where our thoughts should be. While I don't think He has damned it, I do think He is highly displeased with us. From our inception God has truly blessed America. He has blessed, protected and guided us through many troubled times. He kept us through two world wars, He brought us through the great depression and made us the most prosperous nation on earth. He has taken care of us all this time and what have we done for Him.

We have abandoned Him. We have put Him out of our government. We have expelled him from our schools and we have removed him from the public square. We have abandoned God while we embrace idols. We can't celebrate Easter, but we can embrace Halloween. We can't celebrate our Lord and Savior's birthday, but we can teach sex education, issue condoms and our children can get an abortion if that doesn't work.

We have become so politically correct that we leave God out of everything we do. We are leaving Him out of our marriage vows and out of our marriages. We are trying to redefine marriage, but regardless of what man may say or do he cannot change God's law. ...

Instead of God, we have let subcultures dictate our morality. We have committed spiritual adultery for God has taken care of us for all this time and now we are turning to our government. They have taken Him out of the army where there is always such a great need for Him. The army commercial used to be God, country and family, but now they have replaced God with country, an idol.

Yes, I am sure that God is not pleased with America. Who can we blame for this deplorable sate?

We cannot blame the government, for God wants us to be governed. But because of politics we have put some ungodly people in places of authority. When we put ungodly people in places we can expect ungodly decisions. ...

We can't blame the politicians they are only doing what politicians do. ... We cannot blame the younger generation. God gave us instructions. Proverbs chapter 22 verse 6 (Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it). We cannot blame the sinner, the ones that don't know Jesus as their Lord and Savior for they are only doing what comes naturally. ... So who do we blame? We can blame ourselves. We who profess to be Christians, it's our fault. But what can we do about it?

We can do nothing on our own, but God can. In His word He has given us a remedy for such a time as this. It is found in 2nd Chronicles the 7th chapter the 14th verse, (If My people which are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear and from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land), America needs healing.

...We know the solution. So what are we going to do?

It would be wise if we all followed the example of Joshua, found in Joshua chapter 24 verses 14 and 15, (14. Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; and put away the gods your fathers served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. 15. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord).

Alfred Lowry


Ignoring the facts

I read with much confusion the letter from Billy Hackworth after he attended the County Supervisors meeting last week that recognized Sheriff Brown and the Sheriff‚s Office for the resolution bestowed upon Sheriff Brown and his Internet Crimes Against Children initiative.

Yes, the Sheriff was invited to California to accept this award in person. This prestigious award from the Los Angeles City Council was made in appreciation for raising the awareness of the importance of Internet safety education for all children, and supplying one of the largest school systems in the country with free Internet safety materials. Expenses were covered and materials were provided by the Safe Surfin‚ Foundation, (SSF), a 501 (c) (3) IRS foundation.

The reason for my confusion is the Sheriff clearly stated to the Board that his trip was made possible by the SSF, his expenses were completely covered by the Foundation and absolutely no county funds were used on this trip. I don‚t know if Mr. Hackworth is perhaps hard of hearing, or possibly he chose not to hear what was being said, but for him to make such a false statement in this paper is certainly disheartening, especially when he was sitting directly behind the Sheriff and could easily hear the Sheriff's comments.

If any citizen has a question as to the integrity of the Sheriff's statements they can request a transcript of the meeting from the Board and read what was actually said.

Robin Sundquist

Executive Director

Safe Surfin‚ Foundation