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Letters

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It’s obvious

    In response to Rick Howell’s March 18 column concerning embryonic stem cell research, I have one point to make which is never mentioned by the main stream media.  It is a fact that there have been successes as well as promising results with the use of adult stem cells.   On the other hand there have been zero successes or promise with embryonic stem cells.

    Since adult stem cells are readily available without doing harm to anyone, what is the purpose of destroying embryonic stem cells and future life while using research funds without any specific evidence that desired results will be achieved?

    Which makes more common sense? To me the answer is obvious.

Betty DeWitt Adamany

Rockford, Ill. (formerly of Bedford County)

Another fish story

    After reading Tom Wilmoth’s story, “A Fish Story,” in a recent edition you may be interested in running another?  I call it, “Another Fish Story.”

    Unlike Mr. Wilmoth, I had no knowledge how excitable fishing is.  My Scottish Dad and my Irish Mom never taught me how to fish, but my Mom, God rest her loving soul, bought all their fish from Pourtsmouth Fish Company in Lynchburg.  No one in our family ever fished.  But my interest in fish caught fire on me on a family outing at Oxford Furnace Wayside on Rt. 460 East of Lynchburg. 

    I was married early in my young life and at the age of 26, along with my wife of 24 and my son, 6 years old, a daughter 4 years old and the baby daughter at the age of 3, decided one day to eat a picnic lunch at the furnace.  Our table cloth was spread and the table set and the four of us enjoyed ourselves and were complaining about our stomachs hurt so much.  My son, Mike, was fishing with a plastic fishing pole.  His mother had taken the plastic hook off and put a steel hook baited with earth worms and the boy was catching plenty. 

    Mike was all excited about catching them; he could not wait for his Mom to bait the steel hook.  He may have caught one or two with no bait on the hook.  I asked him if he would let me catch one or two, “Only if you promise to give the pole back to me when you have caught two.”  He gave me the pole.  I quickly caught the two limit that Mike had given me and was trying to catch a few more, but I was hooking them like crazy.  After I caught about a dozen Mike said “God’s gonna get you for that.”  He insisted, “please give me back my pole.”

    My wife came over and said to me: “Dear if your friends hear how you hoarded your son’s fishing pole they may not want your friendship anymore.” 

    “Yes, dear and you are so right.” I called my son over to me and hugged him and asked him to forgive his Dad for being so selfish.

    “Oh, that’s all right Dad; it’s just fishing fever, it can strike at anytime, anywhere to anybody at any age.  Look at me.....and I’m only 6 years old.”  Today at the age of 60 and me at 80, we still got the fever and are just raring to go fishing.

    And then there are times when we go fishing at Liberty Lake...that fish story can be told another time. 

Keith Thaxton

Bedford

The plan

    As much Obama appears to rely on his training to deliver his thoroughly scripted speeches the “progressive” party can count on Rick Howell to never diverge from, “the plan.”

    Last week he followed orders and “critiqued” George Will’s column about our waning individualism, that awful characteristic Ms Clinton found so dangerous in a speech during her husband’s administration. He went on to “explain” why the folks in Washington are better qualified to judge which of us need help and why than we and the private charities supported far more by those of us who made good use of our individualism.

    This week the party line is: “Those people who question the excessive taxes being extracted for our earnings to support policies we think aren’t good for our country just don’t understand how much better qualified are those folk in Washington.” We’re too mean spirited to support their well reasoned plans.

    By the way, as one who was born in DC a bit over three quarters of a century ago, please, fellow Washingtonians, be assured that I refer to “those folk in Washington” as the ones sent to take advantage of our federally funded perks and the power they learn to crave, not the carpenters, shop clerks, bus drivers and the other 70 percent of the Washington population who have to put up with the politicians, lobbyists and bureaucrats who serve them.

 

Bob Terry

Bedford

Fast response

    I would like to thank the Bedford Fire and Rescue and Goode Rescue Squad for their quick response to the wreck on Belltown on Wednesday; and after they got here they really knew what they were doing getting those boys out of the car.  We need to thank “God” for people like them.  We need to support those crews for the work they do in the community.

John L. Carter

Bedford

More money for the sheriff

    Recently I attended the Bedford County Budget Hearing for year 2009-2010.  For some time the supervisors have said “no tax increase, no pay increases, no new spending, etc., or words to that effect.”  Also, that the schools would receive about $1.5 million less than last year.  All this being necessary due to the financial strain on the County.

    At this meeting I asked the Board to cut Sheriff Brown’s budget $1 million this year and $1 million next year.  This budget is over $5.5 million now plus the millions he has gotten through federal grants, drug busts, traffic citations, etc.  I also asked that the Sheriff’s Office books be audited.  I made a similar request last year but to no avail.  I might add that Sheriff Brown had asked for another $315,00 plus to be added to his budget this year.  Is he thinking of the people of Bedford County or his own ego?

    Mr. Richard Ruff also spoke.  He asked that the Sheriff’s budged be cut $1.5 million and made reference to the poor service the Sheriff’s office gives the County.

    On April 13, 2009, Sheriff Brown spoke at the Board of Supervisors  Meeting.  This was the night the budget was to be voted on.  He asked that he be given permission to apply for a grant under the COPS Program for three new deputies.  The County would be responsible for equipping these positions with uniforms, weapons, supplies and vehicles.  In other words, a lot of money.  The grant is for $415,230 and is for a period of four years.  After three years the County will pay all of the fourth year.  If the deputies continue employment beyond the fourth year, the County pays all.  The last 12 deputies hired were employed under a similar program.  They were not terminated at the end of the program but are still with the County at total county expense.

    Sheriff Brown stated that these new deputies could share a vehicle to keep costs down.  My thought is why aren’t present deputies sharing vehicles now?  Have you known the vehicles to be shared other than training someone, going to another county on a raid, hauling family members or friends or campaigning for the Sheriff?

    The Sheriff goes on to say that this would be supporting our President’s “Grand Stimulus Plan,” a very patriotic gesture!  Our Sheriff states that we must do our best to help our country out of its economic downward spiral.  This must mean you can spend your way out of debt.

    The budget was passed giving the Sheriff $28,000 more on his budget.  He was also given permission to apply for the COPS Grant.  Mr. Cheek, Mr. Arrington, and Mr. Sharp voted “no” on the COPS Grant.  Mr. Cheek stated that the Board had agreed not to do any hiring this year.

    Mrs. Pollard, Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Lowry, and Mr. Neudorfer (who works for the Sheriff’s Office) voted “yes.”  Mr. Lowry who works for the school system voted to cut $1.5 million form the schools and to increase Sheriff Brown’s budget, plus voted in favor of the grant for Sheriff Brown.

    Some of the Board discussed doing an audit on the Fire & Rescue Departments.  Yet I have asked, more than once, that an audit be done of the Sheriff’s Office but it is never brought up in a meeting.

    I believe the Sheriff’s Office is the biggest waste of money per employee of any entity of the County.

    Taxpayers you need to get involved!

Billy Hackworth

Bedford

Cease and desist

    We the people of the United States of America convey to the United States of America’s House of Representatives and Senate our sincere desire that they cease and desist their cloistered moves to change our country its laws and mores.

    Let’s set the record straight.  First and foremost we are a Christian nation as established by our founders, as is alluded to by every former president and by the overwhelming majority of free born American citizens.  To infer that we are anything else is not only untruthful it would appear to be seditious.  Why would they whom we’ve elected to represent us defer to the improbably hypothesis we’re something we’re not, rather than stand for what we are and have been since our founding?

    We the people of the United States of America affirm that we are a country of the people by the people and for the people, not of the government, by the government, and for the government.  Since when do these in Washington D.C. determine what we the people desire?  We elected them to represent us.  That is what we are, a representative republic, not a democracy — they have no right under the constitution to do what they are doing, and we order them to stop!  Do not spend one more cent of our hard earned money to save one more bank, or industry.  We will by our spending and buying power determine who among us will succeed or fail.

    We the people elected a President not to issue edict after edict, not to parse information into half truths but to stand as our Representative to the World.  Not to apologize for us, not to abandon our allies and not to prosecute via fiat our employees for their efforts to keep us a free and open society.  We have respect for the office of the president, but not for individuals who assume authority not vested in the office.

    We the people further affirm our intent to vote out every politician regardless of party who willingly have bought into, by their votes, the policies that abandon our allies for despots and dictators; who voted our money to pet projects (pork); supported bailouts for banks and corporations; emasculated our military and intelligence agencies; and have not vehemently opposed the prosecution of those Americans who have provided guidance to our defenders.

    We the people will not be content to accept what you are doing now.  This is our country.  It is not some grand social experiment to alter a nation’s direction through mandate and presidential aggression regardless if he and they believe are somehow right.  They need to fix it nor or they too will discover it is hard for a former congressman or senator to find employment in a country who is being undermined by them.

Ray Winson

Forest

Low pay equals no incentive

    Typically going in on a Thursday morning I await a government lecture and am ready to take notes, but not this Thursday.  Today I anxiously looked forward to hearing from one of our Virginia House of Delegates, Lacey Putney.  He discussed with us primarily the legislation in Virginia, but one topic he hit left me pondering with dissatisfaction.  Mr. Putney applauded Virginia’s higher education saying we have schools that are among the best in the nation.  Without a doubt I agree, but then why is there not more incentive for graduates to teach?

    Teacher’s salaries are not up to par with what they should be.  With this being the case, schools are employing personnel that are unqualified resulting in student’s inattentiveness in the classroom and the increase in drop-out rates.  The standards of academics should be raised, but without the qualified manpower to do so, students will continue to be fine with “average.”

    In many cases the school system hires teachers that are up to snuff but with the low teacher salary the teacher cannot afford to keep the position.  Without a raise in teachers’ salaries, students will continue to receive an education that is just OK.  Is “just OK” what America has come to?  Not to mention there are countless hours outside of the classroom that teachers put in that are unpaid.  Every homework assignment they take up or quiz or test we take, they don’t have time in their work day to grade these.  And you can’t forget the time they put into lesson plans.

    Teachers are taken for granted.  Their time and countless hours of effort are overlooked.  I say it’s about time our standards for education are raised, but this is not possible without a raise in salary for teachers.  Let’s give an incentive for people who want to be teachers because I know in my life, they are the people who have made a tremendous difference.

Kimberly Nowlin (Early College, Senior)

Bedford

An evening

of song

    We’ve all heard choir members, guest soloists or parishioners on a Sunday morning that sang like a professional, and thought how great it would be if these talented folks from all the area churches  could all come together for everyone to hear.

    Well, exactly that will happen over the coming months, with an initial performance at Staunton Baptist Church on Friday evening, May 1, at 7 p.m.

    Local gospel songster Roger Beeman has arranged for five other performers from the area to join him for an evening of music called SONGS of SIMPLE PRAISE.  They are classical vocalist Carmel Vaden of Resurrection Catholic Church, soloist Dottie Nagele and pianist Janice Ruhlen of Hales Ford Baptist Church and contemporary artists Bill and Vida Parker of Staunton Baptist.  Roger, also of Staunton Baptist, adds a country-western twist to both traditional and contemporary Christian songs.

    Presented as a community service and free for everyone to enjoy, the evening promises to be one of exceptional music, and performed by our friends and neighbors.  We hope to see you there.

Staunton Baptist is located at 15267 Smith Mountain Lake Parkway, about a mile past the State Park.

Lynn Barnes

Huddleston

Up in arms

    Rick Howell’s recent diatribe against the Tea Party demonstrations of April 15 provides a demonstration of its own.

    People are up in arms because they legitimately distrust a government that stood by for fraudulent manipulation of the financial markets and now plans to cover the resulting losses with tax dollars. How do both the Democratic and Republican Parties respond to this crisis? Like Howell they are madly in search of a means to fix the blame but never in search of a way to fix the problem.

    The Federal Reserve is madly trying to swap treasury debt for bad paper to shore up the banks but no one will take the steps needed to really correct the problem. The solution is simple but painful to the financial community. The final debt-equity swap has to be a swap of stock for bonds in the large financial houses. This will erase the red ink that is causing the trouble with banks meeting the federally required reserve requirements. This will also mean a loss to about 40 cents on the dollar for bonds of the worst managed institutions. This is not acceptable to the bond-holding class when their political lackeys can instead give them a six to ten percent profit, taken from the taxpayers.

    Howell points out that when times were good, people were not out protesting taxes. That is because Republicans learned the rules from that master of the political game Lyndon Johnson. Only a fool taxes and spends when he can borrow and spend. The way to be popular is to give lots of goodies to the present voters that will be paid out of exorbitant taxes on their children. Then you retire to your Texas ranch and make a fortune in speaking fees while the economy goes to hell under the next guy.  LBJ did it so well that the “next guy” was Jimmy Cater, nearly a decade later. Bush was so clumsy he couldn’t keep the balls in the air to the end of his own Presidency. Still it wasn’t a bad run given that fixing the financial markets began with Clinton’s refusal to veto repeal of the Glass-Stiegel Act  and his refusal to attach regulatory oversight to hedge funds.

    Today politicians of all sorts are screaming “nationalization” when anyone even proposes that a badly managed bank is not too big to fail. Failure is the price of bad management in a free market. Unfortunately we don’t appear to have one in the United States. Only profits belong to the free market. Losses belong to the taxpayer.

    Will Barack Obama be much different than George Bush? He’ll do a better job of letting us know he feels our pain as the nation moves into the Greater Depression. Even if he did replace Geithner and Sommers with economists like Krugman and Stieglitz who want to let the institutions that caused the damage pay the piper first rather than never, nearly every major player in the Congress is in the pockets of the bankers. Those are your Democratic buddies protecting the wealthy now, Rick, not evil Republicans.

    In the last election the financial industry was generous and bipartisan with its contributions. Both Obama and McCain got around $100 million. That’s a lot of influence no matter who wins. The party of the fat cats proposed $700 billion for the bailout. The party of the people countered that we have to be prepared to pay even more. Based on $200 million in political contributions, that’s 3,500 to 1 leverage. Even AIG’s hedge fund didn’t approach that level.

    Are the people angry? ...they are. I’ve been out of work for 14 months and my retirement accounts lost 58 percent before I started tapping them for living expenses. The Republicans may be the party of the haves and have-mores, but the party of the people colluded in this financial fiction that destroyed the savings of those of us foolish enough to save in the last two decades. The GOP may be in the pockets of the rich, but usually they admit it. The Democrats play at being the people’s party, but when it comes time to vote, the rich turn out to have large, bipartisan pockets. A pox on both your Parties.

Gary Bradley

Bedford

Thanks for

helping

    Bedford Community Resource Center would like to thank everyone that joined our Easter Goodwill Parade and helped us provide Easter food boxes to more than 200 low-income members of our community. 

    We are very grateful to Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, Society of St. Andrew, Mount Plain Baptist Church, Mountain View United Methodist Church, Peaks View Christian Church, Saunders Grove Church of the Brethren, Shady Grove Baptist Church WMU, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and Timberlake United  Methodist Church.  With the help of all our thoughtful and generous neighbors, the Resource Center was able to provide a plentiful food box that included paper products, personal care items, and a ham.

    For more information about the programs and services available at Bedford Community Resource Center, please call Karen Hughes at 540 587-8990, extension 101.

Karen Hughes

Wanda Cooper

Bedford Community Resource Center

Fully accredited

    I am writing to inform the citizens of Bedford City and County that Bedford Domestic Violence Services is a fully accredited agency by Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.

    The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance is a coalition of people and an agency committed to ending sexual and domestic violence and is the recognized leader in Virginia’s response to sexual and domestic violence. The purpose of the Accreditation criteria is to provide a foundation for the delivery of effective services and the development of creative approaches that bring us closer to our shared goal: the elimination of violence in the lives of women, children and men.

    The Action Alliance has developed an Accreditation process for local Sexual and Domestic Violence Agencies operating in the Commonwealth of Virginia to ensure that people who have experienced sexual and/or domestic violence throughout Virginia can expect to receive specific services regardless of their location in Virginia, and that these Agencies have the infrastructure necessary to provide these services.

    Virginia’s Sexual and Domestic Violence Agencies value empowerment and promote the dignity and respect of all persons. Local Agencies develop specialized services based on the belief that persons who have experienced sexual and/or domestic violence have the right to determine their own response. The immediate availability of crisis intervention and support services is important in facilitating the healing process.

    There are local and state resources available to victims, relatives of victims, friends and co-workers.  Bedford Domestic Violence Services operates a 24-hour Hotline, 540-587-0970, where confidential counseling, advocacy, safety planning and support is provided free of charge to domestic violence victims and their children.  Bedford Domestic Violence Services can also provide educational materials to any persons interested in gaining additional knowledge about this social epidemic and the impact on our community.   

Conni St. John, MSW

Bedford

Heartwarming article

   

    On behalf of our family, I would like to publicly thank Mike Forster for the heartwarming article he wrote about our dad, Buddy Gordon; brother, Barry; and nephew, Hunter.  After he gave the interview for this last summer, none of us dreamed that Daddy wouldn’t be here to read it, but; we know that he would have loved the results!  He loved to reminisce and talk sports to anyone.

    He and our mother instilled a love of sports in all of us.  As children, we participated in many of the programs offered by the Bedford Recreation Department.  Our parents began taking us to VA Tech games when we were young and, eventually,  we enjoyed some Bowl game trips with them.  We remain loyal Hokies to this day!   All of their grandchildren have been involved in sports ranging from baseball,  swimming, and cheerleading, to show dog handling!  While I didn’t inherit his athletic ability, I did inherit his competitiveness -- I play a mean game of BINGO.

    We appreciate the kind remarks by his friends, Hugh Bond and Jim Cutler.  They made the article even more special.  We wanted Mike to relay how important his days as the Recreation Director were to him.  He was quite devoted to the job, as well as to Bedford’s children, and did as much as possible within the means of the department in those days.

    Again, thank you, Mike, for the tribute.  It means a lot to all of us.

 

Robin Gordon Stowell

Beltsville, Md.

What’s really wrong

    Everybody wants to know “What’s wrong in America today?  This was the message in our church service Sunday, April 19.  We’ve lost religion!

    Here are two quotes from the best-selling history book of all time—the Bible.

    “People will be self-absorbed, and be greedy for money.  They will be self-promoting and status conscious, insulting God, rude and unappreciative.  They will consider nothing sacred.  They’ll be crude and unkind, and unforgiving; they will enjoy  slandering others, and have no self-control; they will be cruel, and will despise anyone and anything that is good.  They will be back stabbers, and impulsively do foolish things.  They will be inflated with self-conceit, and choose pleasure over God.  They will claim to be spiritual but will reject the power that could make them godly.  Stay away from people like this.”  2 Timothy 3:2-5.

    “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgiver their sins and heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

    I know a lot of people will question this observation and I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar.  History is repeating itself:  flooding, fires, people starving, robbing and stealing, wars all over the world. Thanks to Dr. Cullum at Thaxton Baptist Church for such a powerful message. 

Jimmy Cundiff

Bedford

Answer the phone

    In regards to Jim Stanley’s letter of April 15, 2009, in the Editorial section of the Bedford Bulletin, I read Jim’s letter and it was me all over.

    I sent a letter to my granddaughter and husband that are stationed in Germany.  It came back with no reason for being returned.  I checked with my granddaughter on her last phone call and the address was correct.  I called the 800 number listed in the government offices.  I could hardly understand the person after I finally reached a real person.  I left my name and phone number as all their lines were busy.  A few days later I did get a call from a lady at the Bedford Post office. 

    Why can’t you pick up the phone and dial the number and speak to a real live person without all this “hullabaloo.”

    “Companies beware!”  You are losing business by not being able to contact a person that speaks English.  This is the United States and as I remember from my childhood, we all learned to speak English, “our native tongue in language.” 

    Now talk about medical experiences.  About a year or so ago I had an appointment with my doctor at Lewis-Gale Hospital.  I have I.D. on  my phone.  The call came from Florida.  I know of no-one in Florida.  My daughter answered the call out of curiosity.  It was someone calling to confirm my appointment with my doctor for the next day.  Suppose my daughter didn’t answer it.  That’s why our medical insurance is so high.  ...

    I’m tired of calling someone and having to punch this number, listen to them “speak” usually a recording, then punch in another number and get another “menu” to choose from.  Then when you do get your party, they are either “tied up” with someone, on lunch break or you leave your name and phone number and can’t leave the house for fear you will miss the phone call.  Mr. Stanley, you put it very bluntly and I thank you for speaking up.  If only someone out there would listen to us. 

Lois Dezetich

Bedford