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Letters

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On behalf of local owners

Prior to and since Lowes' opening, our customers have asked how we would be affected. We've always felt that being honest with our customers was part of our mission, so you should know that after 60 days in town, the impact on our sales is evident. While we are grateful to routinely see many of our loyal patrons, there is a noticeable decline in the total number of customers in our store each day. We hope this is merely the honeymoon effect, and that soon the novelty of having our very own Lowes will wear off, and the knowledge, customer service and convenience of our local businesses will prevail. Time will tell.

But, to add one further point to Mr. Massie's letter, please remember that profits generated from this Lowes' store wind up inRegarding Neal Massie's letter of last week concerning Lowes arrival in town... a thank you to Neal, not only on behalf of Bedford Hardware, but also all the other locally owned retailers in the area. Charlotte, N.C., where they are used, among other things, to open even more giant supersotres elsewhere to threaten the survival of more independent merchants like our own.

Bill Mosley

Proprietor

Bedford Hardware

September is National Preparedness Month

President Bush has declared the month of September as National Preparedness Month.

The City of Bedford would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to develop a family emergency plan and begin to gather items for a Preparedness Kit. We, as the city, work hard to keep our emergency operations plan up to date and make sure we are well prepared for emergencies. Ultimately the responsibility is up to each person to be prepared. The local, state and federal government can only help so much and the main priority after an emergency is to get the government up and running again so that critical services such as getting the power back on and clearing roads of downed trees and other debris can be done.

Each person should take a little bit of time out of their busy schedules and find out what type of emergency they may be most likely faced with. Here in Bedford, VA we know that the weather can give us the biggest problems. Whether its a severe summer thunderstorm or the occasional winter storm, we can be inconvenienced when we lose electricity or the roads are closed due to downed trees. The City of Bedford Electric Department and Public Works and VDOT crews do an excellent job of getting things back to normal but we still must be prepared.

Each household should have an emergency plan. That plan should include a family escape plan for use if a fire occurs in the home and a shelter in place plan for use during severe thunderstorms and tornadoes or hazardous materials emergencies that can occur. The family emergency plan should also include an out of area contact as local telephone and cellular networks will be quickly overwhelmed during local emergencies. Each house should also have a NOAA Weather Radio. These radios can be programmed to receive many different warnings that are invaluable when time is of the essence. NOAA Weather Radios can be purchased at most electronic and chain retail stores or on the internet.

Also, every house should have a preparedness kit in a watertight plastic box that is capable of lasting up to three days that includes the following:

1 gallon of water per person per day

Non-perishable & canned foods

Can opener

Basic First Aid Kit

Medications

Change of clothes

Blanket

Pet food and medications for pets

Baby food, formula, extra diapers and wipes

Pain Relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen

Flashlight

Extra Batteries for flashlight and NOAA Weather Radio

Paper cups and plates and plastic utensils

Small tool kit

Cash

Copies of important documents such as insurance policies, identification, and banking information

Puzzle books, coloring books, paper, pen/pencils and crayons to pass the time

Bedford utilizes a community warning system that includes a siren, radios in the schools, municipal building, library, and visitors center, the Emergency Alert System and the ability to override cable TV broadcasts. When the siren is sounded for an emergency, the high/low tone means to seek shelter indoors and tune to local media outlets. The siren can be activated for tornado warnings and hazardous materials incidents affecting Bedford City. When the emergency has ended and it is safe to resume outside activities, a constant tone will sound from the siren.

For more information on how to prepare for emergencies you can visit HYPERLINK "http://www.ready.gov/"www.ready.gov, HYPERLINK "http://www.readyvirginia.gov/"www.readyvirginia.gov, or HYPERLINK "http://www.ready.gov/kids"www.ready.gov/kids or you can contact the Bedford City Emergency Management office at (540) 587-6012.

William Crumpacker

Emergency Management Planner

City of Bedford

Top 10 reasons to join SMLA

Its time for the annual membership drive for Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA). Like many of you who are not yet members, I wondered why I should join. I mean, I live at the lake. I love the water. I boat and swim all the time. And I love showing off the lake to friends not lucky enough to live on its shores.

I began asking everyone I met why I should join SMLA. Here are the top ten things I learned. They are all activities SMLA currently does for you and me:

1. Monitors weed and algae levels to help maintain the health of our waters.

2. Monitors the water quality of SML and develops programs to address any identified problems, such as too much fertilizer getting into water.

3. Works with Ferrum College on water quality projects and is developing an on-line database of SML.

4. Co-sponsors Take Pride in SML Day, the annual spring clean-up project, with the Chamber and TLAC.

5. Produces maps, brochures and videos to help visitors use the lake responsibly.

6. Monitors legislative activity at the county, state, and town level in support of lake residents and represents lake interests.

7 . Chairs the Roanoke River Basin Water Conservation Alliance and works with upstream, SML and downstream stakeholders to collect water quality data.

8. Recommends alternative water flow strategies to American Electric Power (AEP), Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC).

9. Produces educational programs on the environment for local schools.

1 0. Provides discounts from local businesses to its members through the Partners Program.

Okay, a long list, but a good one. Each person I talked to homed in on at least one of the things SMLA does for us. Yes, I admit it. I recently became a member and one of those annoying people who love to talk about the organization.

I can list dozens of reasons to join the Lake Association, Kristina Mize, chairman of SMLAs membership committee, said. Its terrific that many of our partner businesses, from home furnishings to boutiques to health and fitness, offer generous discounts to our members. The discounts are great, but more important, your support as a member of the Lake Association helps us protect the quality of our lake so that we can enjoy it for decades to come.

So, why arent you a member? And how can you become a one?

We are in the midst of our annual membership drive and we want you to join or renew your membership. We are holding a raffle for this handcrafted, driftwood bench created by Tom Smith, a talented long-time member of SMLA. To encourage you to join or renew now, we are offering three (3) free tickets for the raffle. Tickets sell for three (3) for $5 and seven (7) for $10. Monies from the raffle and membership fees help support the activities listed above. Memberships begin at $30 per year for a family membership.

You can buy your raffle tickets at the SMLA office or you can wait until we pounce on you at Krogers on Tuesdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The drawing will be held on October 21 at the close of our membership drive. Wouldnt you love to show this bench off in your sunroom or on your patio, deck or porch?

If you live here at the lake either part time or year round, I urge you to join SMLA.

For information about joining SMLA, please visit our website www.smlassociation.org, or call our office at 540-719-0690.

Betsy Ashton

Smith Mountain Lake Association

Biosolids: What's all the fuss about?

To the novice reader, the biosolids controversy may seem a bit overblown. Ah, with any subject, one must first master the terminology. Perhaps I can help:

1. SYNAGRO=SOPRANO [Say, Hello, to Tony for me.]

BIOSOLID= Well, thats a bit of a sticky wicket as the Brits say [quite hard to discuss in polite society]. Lets just say, its the same as a certain Islamic sect, minus two vowels.[clue: It aint Sunni, baby.]

Lets try some contextual analysis of statements weve all heard:

a. Jimmy Carter is a nice man but wasnt worth a biosolid as President.

b. Yankees have been handing us a ration of biosolid for 140 years [now, of course, it is quite literal].

c. Ah, shucks, I just stepped in some dog biosolid.

One may also research such words as carpetbagger and scalawag. On a contemporary note, one may wish to check for recent travel to Atlantic City or acquisition of offshore bank accounts by such landowners and politicians who favor this[ I, again, suggest the terms: carpetbagger and scalawag].

Submitted reluctantly with tongue in cheek and hand to nose,

Wendell K. Johnson

Bedford County

Fresh fall air Not!

Fall is here, now is the time to turn off the air conditioners and open your windows and enjoy some fresh air. Unless of course you live in Bedford County where the human waste of other states is dumped upon the land.

But do not despair, according to the Lynchburg newspaper issued on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008, the Bedford County Board Of Supervisors has had the county department of community development spend the last year developing an online database that can be used to notify yourself of the properties that this waste will be dumped upon. They could have saved our money, it only takes anyone 1.2 seconds to confirm this by smell when they step outside.

This Web site provides permit identification numbers, map locations, names, addresses, expiration dates and acreage being used. What it does not do is control the terrible smell or protect people from the health risks associated with this practice. According to the paper this public information is important in case people have some sort of health problems (acknowledgment that there is a health problem). But how is this information going to help people with health issues when they are powerless to prevent the dumping? Should they move away from there homes?

The farmers that are utilizing this waste are trying to save money because this waste is free, but from experience everyone knows that anything that is free will cost more in other ways down the road. (Your neighbors have already started paying.) Livestock that will be used for food are consuming this waste, part if it will enter streams thats for sure. The next step is up the food chain is to ourselves!

Anyone with any common sense knows that putting human waste on the land is an unhealthy thing to do. Thats why there are laws to prevent people from empting there septic tanks on their property, What really has me stumped is that if this waste is so safe and a good product to use how does it make its way past other farms to arrive here? Surely there are other farmers closer to the point of origination that would love to have free waste to put on there land. Evidently they have a little common sense.

What a shame it is to live in such a beautiful place and have to enjoy it from behind closed doors and windows all for the sake of free waste.

Earl L. Mitchell

Big Island

Time to break with tradition

According to the Bulletin, our Bedford County School Superintendent has announced his retirement. Of course this means the School Board is tasked with finding an individual to take over the task of managing the school system. I am hopeful that the board will include in their search individuals with the credentials and experience to efficiently and effectively manage the schools.

It would seem to me that this is a perfect time to break tradition of filling the position with another academician with an advanced degree in education or some similar field. We have to remember that our school system is a multi-million dollar a year business and in these economic times it would be interesting if not a necessity to have someone at the helm with business experience and the ability to create and follow a realistic budget.

I would have to say that with all the principals, teachers, assistants and department heads the last thing a superintendent in the 21st century should require is more knowledge of education. It would seem that what the school system needs right now is someone who can run the business of schooling our youth economically and efficiently. We need someone who can balance a budget and reasonably cut costs rather than continually asking for more money. We need someone who can see that money is being spent as if there is no tomorrow, but tomorrow is here now. Families can barely afford living expenses so they certainly cant afford to have their money squandered by the largest spender of our county budget.

If there is anyone else in the county who believes it is time to run the schools as a business and not keep spending more and more of our tax dollars on whatever it is they spend our dollars on, call your School Board representatives and tell them it is time to start doing what other multi-million dollar businesses are forced to do hire someone who can actually understand the economy and implement ways to spend our tax dollars more effectively. The top man in the school system doesnt need to know how to teach. We have plenty of teachers who already know how to do that. We need someone who can actually manage the school business rather than just keep increasing the budget year after year until Bedford County has no more money to spend.

Of course, that is just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Dennis Strong

Thaxton

Political trickery

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has resorted to despicable political trickery to fool the American people into believing that Democrats actually support exploration and production (drilling) in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Congratulations to Congressman Virgil Goode and other House Republicans for opposing this sham dreamed up by Pelosi to give Democrats cover on Election Day.

Pelosi and her fellow House Democrats have passed a bill entitled Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act. She claims it opens up the OCS for drilling; it most certainly does not. The very first section of the bill is entitled Prohibition On Leasing!

First, the bill permanently prohibits drilling within 50 miles of the East Coast, West Coast, and Floridas West Coast. Unfortunately for Americans, experts estimate that this area contains 88 percent of the potentially recoverable offshore oil and gas.

Second, the bill allows drilling in the area 50 to 100 miles out only if the individual states approve. Unfortunately for Americans, the bill prohibits states from sharing in any revenues so there is little incentive for states to approve drilling in this area.

In ramming this bill through the House, Pelosi did not allow Republicans to see it beforehand or offer any amendments. A bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats did offer a bill that actually would begin to open the OCS for drilling, but the Democrats voted it down on orders from Pelosi.

Pelosis bill does nothing to streamline the permitting process for drilling in the OCS; consequently, her environmental supporters can continue to put obstacle after obstacle in the way of drilling.

The left will be screaming that Goode and other Republicans voted against drilling in the OCS by opposing the Pelosi bill. In fact, it is Pelosi and her crew who continue to oppose drilling that would increase the supply of domestically produced oil and gas. Dont be fooled by this Pelosi-engineered hoax to get votes for Democrats. This is a clear example of Democrats putting politics before the best interests of America! Quoting Pelosi henchman John Murtha: This is a political month. Theres all kinds of things we try to do that will just go away after we leave.

Jim Miller

Moneta

THE WISDOM OF OBAMA

Two recent events reveal volumes about our presidential candidates: the selection of their running mates, and their reaction to the still-unfolding economic debacle.

As Barack Obama stated immediately after becoming the presumed nominee, his VP pick would be the most critical decision he would make as a candidate. After the announcement of Joe Biden, Obama said his two primary criteria were: 1) the person must be unquestionably qualified to step in as president starting day one, and 2) the person must possess the integrity and fortitude to advise, listen and provide perspective.

Joe Biden is an exemplary choice. His experience in Washington gives him an in-depth knowledge of the myriad of issues critical in assuming the role of president, should that become necessary. He has developed solid, respectful relationships with colleagues of both parties in every level of government. His tenure on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has solidified his command of international issues and relationships with leaders throughout the world.

John McCains selection? In a word: scary. His selection shines the brightest light on what I have felt about him from the very beginning: he is nothing short of reckless. Sarah Palins experience as a tiny-town mayor and tiny-state governor (population roughly two-thirds the size Richmond) is not, in and of itself, the reason she is woefully inadequate for this high position. Like you and me, she could have educated herself about the fundamentals of our national economy and the international stage, merely because she was interested. It is painfully clear she never was. McCain touts her expertise on energy, yet she doesnt even know how much of the nations oil is produced by her state. It would be redundant to detail her lack of readiness and startling lack of integrity here; it is now abundantly documented elsewhere.

The economic hurricane that unfurled this past week presented a unique opportunity for both candidates to reveal how they would deal with a serious national crisis. Barack Obama was focused and prudent. He immediately sought input from a broad cross-section of experts (including the Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve Chairman), developed both short and long-term action plans, and conveyed them to the public in a serious and thoughtful manner. McCains first inept comment was that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. His roller coaster of pronouncements throughout the week left us all feeling dizzy. McCains revelation on Friday, after a week of reckless consideration? He said Obama is to blame!

Much of this long campaign has focused on each candidates experience, or lack thereof: republicans insist McCain has it, Obama does not. In these two situations, McCain has exhibited the irrelevancy of his 26-year political career, while Obama has exhibited superior wisdom and judgment, amassed in just a third of that time. Friday night on Larry King, a republican strategist berated Obama for taking too long to come out with his plan of attack for the economic crisis. Republican recklessness abounds! Obama is not our current president, and thus has not been privy to the daily discussions in the Oval office, leading up to this moment in history. Therefore, rather than emulating the reckless approach of his elder opponent, Obama judiciously solicited relevant input, working with informed parties to formulate a comprehensive approach.

As president, I am absolutely confident Obama will maintain a high-level of preparedness on a daily basis, resulting in his readiness to respond in a timely manner to whatever crisis may surface - be it day one, or day one thousand. Join me, and the millions of Americans who yearn for and demand a leader with wisdom and integrity, by voting for our next president, Barack Obama.

Nicole Wagoner

Goode

Thanks for donors

The American Red Cross sponsored the blood drive held at Resurrection Catholic Church on Sept. 11. We would like to extend a special thank their staff for the wonderful job they did. The blood drive was facilitated by Maureen Fanelli, Eileen Kennedy and Tami Akin (Parish Nurse for Resurrection Catholic Church and Trinity Ecumenical Parish).

We would like to also extend our gracious thanks for the wonderful job done by our volunteers. We could not have done this without them. A special thank-you goes out to the volunteers that assisted with the blood drive including: Pat Mignogna, Pat Bailey, Mary Caltin, Eileen Kennedy, Maureen Fanelli, Tami Akin, Jim and Millie Hurlbert. Additionally, we would like to thank the volunteers that provided food, drinks and snacks for the blood drive, including the American Red Cross.

A special thank you goes out to the 47 donators that gave blood for a wonderful cause and in honor of Thomas Kennedy, one of the first responder firefighters on Sept. 11, 2001 at the world trade center. The American Red Cross collected a total of 47 units. We had eight first time donors.

Tami Akin

Parish Nurse

Change

Change is a vision.

Change is knowing what to do now when the population of the US is doubled. Do we send more representatives to Washington or bring them back to their communities and counties to delegate the responsibilities of our complex issues to qualified managers, who can be closer to the people? Should we enlarge the senate house and let it deal with the executive branch? Or should we enlarge both houses of congress so they can argue themselves to death?

Is Washington big enough for thousands of representatives in years to come, or can a couple of hundred senators do the job?

Ralph Rasoul

Blue Ridge

Flipping their flops

As America's wealth is transferred to Islamic World by Arabia's puppet president, foisted upon us by the grandest, oldest, party, new hat Republicans will, naturally, run against their own record.

As those who ruled the roost are neck deep in their own litter, cockle over do they've doodled, and then flip their flops to blame Democrats for failing to stop Republican misleaders, they find a familiar formula. As America begs to borrow, to pay war reparations and tribute, Republicans are wise to blame demonic Democrats for failing to override Papa Bush's own offshore drilling ban.

If Democrats didn't prevent Republicans from duping us into defeat and flipping a Phony Bush War to reward our foes, and Democrats were unable to stop Republican controlled Congress from busting budgets with bureaucracy, or couldn't curb corrupt deregulating Republicans who've hollowed our nation with debt, Democrats should be blamed. Since Reagan raised the payroll tax by 50 percent, Social Security's generated a multi-trillion dollar surplus. If Americans were dumb enough to let Bush sink roots into Trust for fun, draining dry with debt, to eliminate taxes for foreign owners now controlling more than half of America's real estate, stocks and bonds, commission collecting Republicans deserve congratulations.

David Blumenreich

Bedford