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Deal smells

I have been a depositor at the Bedford Savings Bank (now FNB) for over 20 years, and have a good part of my life savings deposited there.

This deal with VFGI smells to high heaven. This whole national financial disaster has been caused by lending institutions lending money they don't have to people who cannot possibly pay it back.

One thing not generally known is that under the banking laws, non-performing loans can be held on the books as "held for sale" at their full face value, when actually they are worthless. How many "held for sale" loans does VFGI hold?

Obviously for a deal this big, VFGI will have to go to a "hedge fund," or some such, to borrow such a large amount, and they are going to want some security. If I were running the hedge fund I might ask for the titles for all the mortgaged property on Smith Mountain Lake as security.

The hedge fund might then borrow from some other outfit and so on ad infinitum. If anyone of these financial institutions fails it sets up a major financial disaster.

Of course the directors don't really care that much. They will all get multi-million dollar "golden parachutes," for doing such a swell job of management. Remember ENRON?

I would sooner dive naked into a barrel of rattlesnakes before I got into a deal like this.

What will happen to the money belonging to the depositors at FNB? Anybody care to make a guess?

Remember Will Rogers' famous comment? "It's not the return <*U>on<*P> my money that interests me. It's the return <*U>of<*P> my money that matters."

David Mends


Webb ? the wrong choice

I saw Jim Webb on Face the Nation and I am even more convinced that Jim Webb was the wrong choice for Virginia and for America.

Instead of admitting that they were wrong on the Iraq War, Jim Webb and most of the Democrats have now started a song and dance that it was the military that has been successful in Iraq, but that President Bush was wrong. Now that is just silly because President Bush is the Commander and Chief of the military.

Jim Webb stated that America should pull out troops because Iraq has no long term strategic significance to America. That statement alone should be sufficient proof that Jim Webb and no other Democrat should ever be elected to any government position. The Middle East has been a problem for America and for the world ever since the Jews returned to Israel. That problem culminated in an attack on America on 9/11. I thank God that President Bush has had the courage to ?stay the course? in the Middle East against the opposition of the Democrats and the news media. I pray President Bush will be successful with the Israeli-Palestinian talks that have a chance of stopping the hate that allowed the Islamic Terrorists to come into existence. The job in the Middle East will not be complete until the Iran Nuclear Weapon issue is resolved.

The use of funding of the Iraq War by Democrats is nothing less than stabbing President Bush in the back even though President Bush has been proven to be right and the Democrats proven to be wrong.

America and Virginia are going to have to put up with Jim Webb until 2012, but I hope every one will let Jim Webb know what they thing about his Bush hating attitude. And for Heavens sake, don?t elect anymore Democrats to any public office.

I do not like the policies of Democrats and I do not like the policies of Jim Webb, a Democrat.

I do not like the policies of the Democrats because of the side they have chosen in the Cultural War.

There is a cultural war in America between Christians and Atheists. This war is being fought on the battlefield of politics. The battles are in the voting booth. The prize in the cultural war is the hearts, minds and souls of the children. The Atheistic liberal news media greatly influences both domestic and foreign policy by constantly reporting only bad news about Christians, conservatives and Republicans and only good news about atheists, liberals and democrats. The agenda of the Atheistic liberal news media is to promote extreme environmentalism, socialism, feminism, pornography, abortion, homosexuality and the Atheistic Lifestyle by having democrats in control of government.

I do not like the policies of Jim Webb because the legislation that he has introduced into Congress stabs President Bush and the soldiers that are fighting in Iraq, in the back.

Democrats became traitors when they decided to use the Iraq War as a political tool to win control of the government.

Clifford Russell


Heartfelt gratitude

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Bedford Christian Ministries Association, Inc., I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour for their recent donation of $20,000 from the proceeds of the 2007 Tour.

We would also take this opportunity to applaud their 17 years of fundraising in Central Virginia. Their efforts have enabled various ministries to assist our less fortunate neighbors.

Rosemary C. Pawlas


Creative writing

Thank you for providing us with yet another sample of Mr. Hackworth's creative writing. After years of living in our community, I am often delighted by the educated and informed commentaries so many of our citizens share in their letters to the editor. Sadly, the lack of research and accuracy in Mr. Hackworth's letters left me anything but delighted.

Free speech is a wonderful thing that I proudly served to protect during my years in the Marine Corps. Despite the fact that I was born in Mexico, I proudly accepted by U.S. citizenship and eagerly embraced the opportunity to wear my Marine uniform to help defend our way of life. While free speech is a right we can all enjoy, it is unfortunate some people will pervert this right by stating their opinions as facts without researching any of their rhetoric.

I was disturbed by Mr. Hackworth's comments about Operation Blue Ridge Thunder because I found it hard to believe a nationally-recognized program like this one could be as terrible as Mr. Hackworth painted it to be. A simple phone call enlightened me with the facts of the operation and in five minutes I once again understood the importance of this program as it helps to protect the safety of our children on the Internet. Perhaps his views would be different if he had children or grandchildren of his own he cared about. He uses the word "lures" them from far, far away. The truth is that five of the last six were either Bedford or Roanoke pedophiles. That's enough to have me working the polls for Sheriff Brown till he's says "I'm ready to retire." In a day and age when our children are bombarded with computers and he Internet, many of us are very grateful for a program that helps us keep our children safe.

If Mr. Hackworth was so out-of-touch with his knowledge of Operation Blue Ridge Thunder, I felt he may have been wrong about other things, too.

I have yet to experience any such behavior from our law enforcement. Being Mexican, I often hear the joke about how all us "messicans" look alike. It is a comfort to know our local law enforcement does not let this common misconception affect their job functions and professionalism. The times I have had interactions with local law enforcement at traffic stops, routine stops, etc., officers have been nothing but courteous and professional.

But I have also seen citizens disrespect officers even when the officer tries very hard to keep his courteous and professional demeanor. I am grateful our deputies stay alert and professional when so many people like Mr. Hackworth feel it necessary to discredit their oath to serve and protect.

Maybe Mr. Hackworth just gets caught up in the sensationalism he so readily writes. Or maybe he is just overzealous when he picks up his literary pitchfork in hopes of leading an anti-Sheriff Brown mob.

His attempts to run some good men against the Sheriff have failed miserably. It's not that the guys are that bad, it's just that Mr. Hackworth pulls them to the bottom with him. You can keep that mud slinging mess for the national elections. Bedford people are so much smarter than he gives them credit for.

The only way Sheriff Brown could have lost any of the four elections was to have had Mr. Hackworth running his campaign. I feel sure that will never happen.

Good luck to Sheriff Brown and his elite force. Here's hoping you'll give us another four years after this term. You've been there for us and we'll be there for you.

Hector Rivera


A great place to discover

It goes without saying that Bedford is a great place to shop, dine, explore and discover!

The past two Fridays in Bedford have been enchanting. It started off with the annual tree-lighting of the huge blue spruce in Centertown Park Nov. 30. This tree was generously donated by Jane Watkins of Bedford. Mr. and Mrs. Bob Wandrei did the tree lighting honors.

The evening continued with carriage rides, music with John Crawford, hot cider and cookies. Many visitors took advantage of dining and shopping in this enjoyable holiday atmosphere. Saturday, Dec. 1 the streets filled with spectators to watch the annual Holiday parade through Centertown. The theme this year was ?Songs for the Holidays? and the entries delighted onlookers with their creativity on the floats.

Special thanks to all of our volunteers who assisted in the parade line up. We had 183 Units and almost 2,000 people involved in them. The parade attendance had about 7,500 viewers. Santa arrived after the parade at his North Pole ?office? in Centertown Park. Children brought their requests and had pictures with Santa.

He will continue to be there the next two Fridays (6-9 p.m.) and Saturdays (1-4 p.m.) before Christmas. Santa, music, hot refreshments and carriage rides will continue on Friday nights until Christmas. I invite everyone to bring their family and friends to town for the holidays and enjoy the wonderful shopping feeling that all of our merchants in Centertown Bedford offer.

With all this said, I wanted to take a moment to express my deepest thanks for the community support of our holiday events. Our North Pole ?office? for Santa was donated by Forest View Garden Collections, Forest VA. Jimmy Andrews and his crew at Bedford Movers brought in a crane to put the house in the park. After several late hours of setting up, Hal and Tina Gurley opened Clam Digger?s Restaurant and fed all the volunteers.

Special thanks to all our Bedford Main Street volunteers who committed to help create this beautiful atmosphere in Centertown Park. Dave and Deb Champagne built and donated the ticket booth in the park. Charlie Exley designed ramps, stairs and any construction needed with help from Hal Gurley, Dave Champagne, Tom Wilson & Doug Moses. Gene and Peggy Jones of Thaxton donated all the Christmas trees placed around the park. Floors and More donated the carpet for Santa?s house. Smyth Company provided ?wallpaper? for the house. Sam Moore donated Santa?s chair. The Bedford Bulletin is also appreciated for all their efforts and advertising.

Thank you to our Bedford City Police Department, Engineering Department, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Electric Department for assisting with all of the setting up and cleaning. I appreciate the support from all of you and just can?t thank you enough.

In closing, these events are made possible because of community participation and support. Bedford is a great town to live, work and play. On behalf of Bedford Main Street, Inc, Board of Directors and myself, I wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season.

Linda Exley

Executive Director, Bedford Main Street, Inc.

Actively misleading

This week, we learned that President Bush has been actively misleading us on Iran--lying to get us into another reckless and disastrous war.

It was revealed that Bush has known for months that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. Bush said he "only learned of the new intelligence assessment last week." But according to the Washington Post, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley "said Bush was first told in August or September about intelligence indicating Iran had halted its weapons program."

That means Bush has been ignoring the intelligence as he's saber-rattled for months against Iran--recklessly pushing toward war with Iran like he did with Iraq. We can't afford to let Bush and Cheney start another disastrous war.

Congress must act now and make it clear that President Bush has no authority to strike Iran.

Elam Holder