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Enough is enough

    Redundant animal fighting legislation escalated above many laws protecting people from actual crime caused Avery Fitzgerald of Bedford to be arrested and possibly face two felony counts of selling a chicken with “intent.” Potentially, this man can receive 10 years in prison for selling a rooster to police officers that may (or may not) have been for fighting.

    Last session, legislators amended animal cruelty and dog fighting laws to include chicken fighting and then hid behind the Mike Vick animal cruelty front to avoid the real issue of them heeding to special interest. Success of such ridiculous laws are not due to public demand, but are fueled by political intimidation from radical animal rights groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Rooster fighting is a rural culture practiced in Virginia since its beginning with hardly any complaint from the public. Salem Del. Morgan Griffith and Sen. Tommy Norment amended cruelty laws to suit animal rights groups though felony laws already existed. Ultimately, the HSUS, a rich, tax-exempt animal rights group from Washington D.C., lobbied this bill into law to suit their own fanatical agenda.

    The HSUS, not happy with Virginia’s cockfighting law, came to Richmond with a bus load of lobbyist and tax-free money and worked through Attorney General Bob McDonnell with the end result being unnecessary legislation with unjust penalties. Bills HB656 and SB592 were introduced by Griffith and Norment, were supported by a massive animal rights phone bank and then fast tracked into law as other legislation got tabled. If the Commonwealth demanded a law such as this, fine, but when special interest groups bait politicians to destroy rural traditions by toying with our legislative system, I cannot live with that as a voting taxpayer.

    Currently, the HSUS is lobbying against most traditional sports such as hunting with hounds, sport hunting, rodeos, and obviously, cockfighting. Their claim is like a broken record saying that rural traditions are “backwards,” “backwoods” and cruel with no place in modern society. Cockfighting and other cultural events have taken place in the “backwoods” and rural areas across this country for hundreds of years, but its animal rights fanatics that are leaving city streets and coming to the “backwoods” to change our way of life. Some may not condone traditional practices involving animals, but freedom to practice an event legal for hundreds of years should be protected as an American right, not taken away by animal rights idiocy and deception. Just compare the quality of life of a gamecock to that of a commercial chicken and maybe we can put “cruelty” in its proper perspective. I say let the public decide this issues.

Bill Forren


Left out

    A letter to your newspaper indicated the Christmas Parade was wonderful.

    Those of us with businesses on the South and East side of Bedford could not attest to that since we were left out.

    We businesses on the South side of town invite everyone to come check out what we have to offer. You will find two restaurants, a grocery store, auto parts store, a bank, collectible shop, gift shop, hair stylist, men’s store, seafood shop, hardware store, coffee shop, coffee house, wine shop, barber shop, bakery, consignment shop, a really nice florist, three churches, Bedford Christian Ministries, The Farmers Market, lawyer’s offices, insurance companies and plenty of parking.

Gloria Saunders

Glo-Lyn Flowers

Celebration to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


    Supporters and friends of the Bedford Branch NAACP, thank you for your help and support during the past year.

    As you know the celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  is fast approaching. This year we will have a program on Sunday, Jan. 11, at Washington Street Baptist Church at 3 p.m. We have decided to have the program a week earlier this year anticipating that many of you have made plans and will be going to the historic inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday, Jan. 20. The 44th president of the United States and the first African American to be elected president. We also want to celebrate this historic occasion during this program. The program will consist of a Song Festival.

    Everyone is invited to come celebrate this historic occasion, we are sure you will be blessed.

William J. Padgett

Bedford Branch NAACP


Bedford Brawl

a success

    Thanks to so many wonderful people, this year’s Wrestling Bedford Brawl held at Liberty High School on Saturday, Dec. 27 was a great success. We appreciate all the teams who came out to compete and the fans who came to watch and cheer the wrestlers on.

    A special thank you to Darryl Updike for all his hard work in making sure everything ran smoothly on the mats and to Beth Lucas for making sure the Hospitality room and concessions were stocked and operating smoothly. Great appreciation is extended to Diane Kennedy, Margie Witt, Aundrea Arrington, Angelina Smith, Tim and Desiree Hoback for working so hard to make sure the fans were helped so graciously in the concession area.

    Most importantly we would like to thank the local businesses for the donations for our hospitality room: McDonalds, Subway, Burger King, Stop In Food Store and Mountain Fruit and Produce.

    It is because of so many wonderful people that this tournament was so great.

Ethan Lucas

and the Liberty Wrestling teams

Bedford Ruritan reports on


    During 2008 Bedford Ruritans were able to meet the fundraising goals thanks to the efforts of the dedicated members and the continued support of the community. We are glad to report that we not only supported our selected organizations but were able to add more.  

    Unlike many civic clubs, Ruritan has little or no national agenda. Instead the Bedford Ruritan Club surveys Bedford Community needs and meets as many of them as possible. However we could not meet any of our goals without the community. Thank you to the people of Bedford. Their generous support of our fundraisers keeps us going. A special thanks to Gross’s Orchard for their generous donations and years of including Bedford Ruritan in their festival events.

    Bedford area organizations assisted by Bedford Ruritan Club in 2008: Astride with Pride; Bedford Community Health Foundation; Bedford Hospice Care; Bedford Hospice House; Bedford Youth Shooting Team; Bedford Christmas Station; Christian Ministries; Christmas in Action; Domestic Violence Center; Habitat for Humanity; Hunters for the Hungry; Liberty High School Prom Spree; Patrick Henry Girls Home; American Red Cross/Safe-Haven; and Society of St. Andrew.

    Please contact any of these organizations to learn more about them.  And remember to come join us at the Bedford Ruritan Club. Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service. See you in 2009.

Robert N Thompson Sr.