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Thank you

The Montvale Rescue Squad would like to send out a HUGE Thank You to these businesses and residents for their efforts in providing food and supplies to the firefighters and EMS staff during the Black Horse/Camp Jaycee fire that took place starting on Feb. 9. The businesses include: Roadside Market-Montvale, Hardees-Troutville, McDonalds-Troutville, Food Lion-Troutville, Wal-Mart-Botetourt, Sams Wholesale-Roanoke.

Throughout the emergency other residents, individuals and businesses regularly appeared with refreshments and food, which they donated. We would like to thank everyone who helped. Volunteers who fight fires and attend emergencies like this would not be able to function and provide the much-needed services without your help.

The cooperation and mutual aide between Bedford County Fire and Rescue (Montvale, Bedford, Stewartsville, Botetourt, Moneta, Goode, Hardy, Big Island, Huddleston, Forest, Campbell County, Shady Grove, Boonsboro, Chamblissburg, Buchanan, Blue Ridge, Life Guard 10, Med Flight, Virginia State Police, Bedford County Sheriff's Office, National Guard, National Forestry Dept., Camp Jaycees, Montvale Elementary School are among those who reacted to this emergency.

Vicki Elmore

Montvale Rescue Squad

Silly ideas

David McLoughlin writes about the '200 scholars of the Jesus Seminar who are actively and with great legitimacy making comprehensive efforts to determine the authenticity of the historical Jesus.' I assume that this description of the Jesus Seminar is Mr. McLoughlin's personal opinion.

Dr. Robert W. Funk was one of the founders and leaders of the Jesus Seminar. He was also my Greek teacher. I served on a reading committee for a Greek grammar he translated. Dr. Funk was a Greek scholar but less competent in biblical worldview.

It is a far reach for anyone in recent centuries to claim they know scripture better than the church leaders who formed the canon. If some group wanted to change the biblical worldview of Christianity, it follows that people like John Shelby Spong would try to destroy confidence in the Bible as the foundation of Christianity.

Variations in the Hebrew and Greek texts are minuscule and rarely affect interpretation. It is the mindset of people like Spong and those in the Jesus Seminar that has created silly ideas like deciding what Jesus said and what he did not say 2000 years ago.

Roger Dixon


Is Obama a Republican?

I need to do my civic duty and help a fellow Bedford County resident answer his question, "Is Obama a Republican?" The answer is a definite No!

Mr. Russell claims his confusion originates from an advertisement in which Senator Obama proposes tax breaks to businesses that, "keep jobs in America." Mr. Russell, the key concept is "change." Change to the tax breaks for companies that "keep jobs in America" vs. the current Republican administration policy that give a multiplicity of tax breaks to major corporations including the oil companies that rather than invest funds into the U.S. have exported jobs overseas. Oil companies were supposed to explore cheaper fuel alternatives or cheaper methods of obtaining oil. Instead what did we get? When the current Republican Administration took office, gasoline prices averaged $1.46 per gallon and now gasoline is over $3 per gallon.

In addition, Exxon Mobil posted the highest profit earnings of any type of business, ever. This reported profit was higher than their record breaking profits from the previous years.

Mr. Russell might get even further confused if he realized and investigated how many major corporations took their tax breaks and relocated their corporate headquarters to the country of Dubai, which gives further tax breaks to companies to operate there, inadvertently losing thousands of U.S. jobs. However, their profit margins continue to increase. This is the same Arab country, Dubai and the Dubai Corporation that President Bush wanted to turn over our port operations and security to.

Still confused, Mr. Russell? Mr. Obama is obtaining the attention of most American Democrats, Independents and some Republicans because he wants to "Change" this old way of dealing out tax breaks which increase profits for some, at the expense of U.S. jobs. Mr. Obama is saying to give tax breaks to companies that invest those funds into creating jobs here in the U.S. One example of a company that builds heavy equipment machinery right here in the U.S. is Caterpillar. The Caterpillar Company continues to employ an American labor force and makes a substantial profit because its machinery is sought after and exported all over the world.

What Mr. Obama is saying and reminding us about, is the need to invest in and strengthen our own industrial companies which leads to a stronger middle class. Instead we are witnessing a large decline in the U.S. middle class while the middle class in places like China and India are growing at an astonishing rate. Currently the U.S. is experiencing a large decline in our middle class and you just have to read your history books to learn what happened to societies that consisted of the very rich and the very poor.

Well I hope that I cleared up your confusion. Most people realize that our country is in serious trouble and will require serious changes if we are to maintain our position in the world community. If nominated and elected, can Mr. Obama make the changes necessary to turn this country around from the sea of red ink, the trillions of dollars in debt this Republican administration will leave behind? No one can answer that question now. However, enough of our fellow citizens have come forward to say they would give him a chance to make change if he gets this nomination.

Looking at the state of the nation now, after almost eight years of a Republican administration, I can't help but vote for a Democratic ticket. It might be our only way to maintain our country's status on the world economic stage.

R. C. Browne

Bedford County

Searching for the 'Big Cat'

I have read with interest the efforts of the Eastern Cougar Foundation and other organizations to research BIG CAT in the Appalachian area, because I used to live in Bedford.

One day I was on the riding mower mowing my long back lot off of Oakwood near the hospital. I looked up and saw a large, huge, BIG CAT coming between two houses. For several seconds we startled each other and it continued down the hill toward a stand of woods. I, however, continued to be startled, stopped the mower and sat there quite a while, sort of afraid to turn my back and mow in the opposite direction back toward the house. I could just imagine it might be watching from the woods, but I never saw it again.

Of course, I told my neighbors what I had seen. Right away it was decided I was borderline loony and/or delusional or worse - been drinking! I know what I saw and it was NO HOUSE KITTY!

Some time after that, it was in the news, that a BIG CAT had been seen in a more northern area of Virginia. No description was given, traps were set, but was not seen again.

Last year, it was in the news, that a BIG CAT had been seen going over a fence at Andrews Air Force Base. It was large enough for the person to alert the authorities, but was not seen again.

I do no have a photo and I doubt the neighbors will ever believe me. But I believe BIG CAT is still out there somewhere.

J. Carol Smith

Crisfield, MD

Give us access

I, like many others, live in County, but outside the city, zip code 24526.

The news lately has been telling us as of this time next year our TVs will no longer work because of the new digital signal, yet we have no access to cable TV. We also have no reliable cell phone service and no access to high speed Internet service.

Because we live in a rural area we cannot get services that we need to function in this high tech world. This not only effects the adults in this area, but what about the children that attend schools in this area, they also have no high speed Internet.

Yes, we know times have changed. Just give us the tools we need, to do so. If it were up to our local telephone company and electric company we would still be living in the dark without telephone service. They forced them to supply us services, let force them to now give us the service we now need.

C.E. Adams


Honesty and integrity

The weekly section of a local newspaper dated Jan. 18, 2008 quoted the Bedford County Supervisors. Two of them used honesty and integrity in their comments.

Chairman H.S. Arrington was quoted as that "Bedford County used integrity and honesty for 260 plus years." I question some of that.

In 2007 a citizen asked the Board of Supervisors "Where is the "integrity" in tax exemptions for clubs in the county with alcohol beverage licenses?" The citizen has not received a reply as of this date. Some still ask the same question but do not get an answer. ...

When these sacred cows graze in some citizens district they will be driven out. It may take some years to do. Change comes slowly, but we already have a start, because, thankfully, there is now one less Moose member on the Bedford County Board of Supervisors. ...

Earl V. Bowyer


Democracy countdown

This is the most interesting thing I've read in a long time. The sad thing about it, you can see it coming. Our founding fathers established the government of the United States of America as a Constitutional Republic.

I have heard about this democracy countdown. It is interesting to see it in print.

About the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence":

1. From bondage to spiritual faith;

2. From spiritual faith to great courage;

3. From courage to liberty;

4. From liberty to abundance;

5. From abundance to complacency;

6. From complacency to apathy;

7. From apathy to dependence;

8. From dependence back into bondage.

I believe the United States is now somewhere between the 'complacency & apathy' phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some 40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the 'governmental dependency' phase.

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to 20 million criminal invaders called illegal, and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.

Wake up America! Apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom. Our national sovereignty and a loss of our Constitutional Republic is at stake.

God help us, not that we deserve it.

George Kelly,