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Letters

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Grieving the loss

    The community grieves at the loss of Olde Liberty Station.  It has been a welcoming place to enjoy good food for so many.

    Happily Harry and Julie Leist are planning to reconstruct and reopen this well-loved restaurant and landmark.

    Meanwhile we’re appreciative for the fund begun for Olde Liberty’s staff set up at Cup A Joe’s and First Citizen’s Bank.  Helping the wait staff make up for lost tips until they find another job is one way to show our support and condolences.

Dorothy Ann Hubbs

Bedford

The debate

    This summer we have seen many Americans voice their right to free speech, either at town hall gatherings, at tea parties, or at impromptu gatherings.  The hottest topic of course, is the healthcare reform action that the federal government seems poised to take action on.

    Millions of Americans watched President Obama’s address to Congress on Wednesday night, and for most, had already chosen sides.  As for this writer, I watched to listen to what the man was to present.  Since, after all, this is the banner of his presidency, and healthcare needs reform, I thought I would listen to hear which way the political winds were going to blow.

    President Obama made some valid points throughout his presentation.  He outlined what it is that he sees the role of government in service to his countrymen and he laid out the costs of his ideas and declared it to be deficit neutral.  Most of the costs will be borne by savings in the inefficiencies of the Medicare and Medicaid systems.  Other cost savings are to be realized from a modest tort reform proposal that President Bush had developed.

    President Obama seemed a leader who has just ordered the wagons to be circled.  He appeared to be in total defensive mode.  He conceded that illegal immigrants will not be made part of the healthcare plan, he offered up tort reform, he offered a place at the table for Republicans to help develop a plan, he offered to implement President Bush’s model for tort reform program, and he seems to have taken the public option off the table. We are at square one.

    Not so fast.  The Congress still seems to want to leap headlong into this issue.  Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid seem to want to get this issue legislated and out the door this year.  Many Americans want them to go slow.  President Obama stated that things would go slow-the Bush tort reform is a trial model in selected areas.  It would be a good idea to see if these reform measures would be as effective as the program states it would be.  This program needs time to be implemented and then needs to be evaluated to assess the benefits that can be realized.

    Nancy Pelosi has stated several times that she will insist on the public option, and later this week has conceded that the public option need not be in the final legislation.  However, with her history of lying about the CIA among other things, I really don’t think she can be trusted.  She has a serious credibility deficit.

    The majority of the costs are to be borne by inefficiencies in the Medicaid and Medicare systems.  There seems to be a great deal of waste occurring in these programs.  As I was listening to the President, it occurred to me that if we can realize these savings for healthcare, and these numbers are quantifiable now, why are we, as taxpayers, not reaping the benefits of the elimination of these inefficiencies right now?  Is this just another example of government waste?  We know of inefficiencies, we can identify them, yet we are unwilling to save the money right now?

    President Obama continued to discuss the need to develop a plan-he wants input from everyone.  His door is open to all ideas.  This would be commendable; however the President has already attached a dollar-value to this plan.  Therefore, a reasonable person can then deduce that he has already developed the plan, quantified all its details and everything else is just going through the motions.   Congress has proved that it is out-of-touch with mainstream America, and they would like for us to believe they have listened at the town hall meetings.  If Congress were truly serious, they would go slow.  This does not have to happen this year.

Bradford C. Archer

Wirtz

Operation Medicine Cabinet

    We at Home Instead Senior Care would like to thank Steve Pingley and the Bedford Lowe’s for hosting Home Instead Senior Care’s community event, Operation Medicine Cabinet on September 19th. We would like to thank Sergeant Marsh and the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department as well as Anita Lowe and Bedford Memorial Hospital for partnering with us to help collect and dispose of 29 lbs of expired and unused prescription drugs.

    This program is designed to keep medication from being “flushed”, which can cause water contamination. It also is a reminder for seniors to clean out their medicine cabinets, preventing them from taking expired and discontinued medicines which can have adverse reactions as serious as a hospital admission. Also, it helps to make sure that these old medications stay out of the wrong hands and away from illegal activity. Thank you to everyone who dropped off their medications to making the program a success and helped contribute to our community’s safety.

    Watch for other Operation Medicine Cabinet events coming soon.

Brenda Dixon

Home Instead Senior Care

Wine Festival

a community

celebration

    This year’s SML Wine Festival had an even mix of rain, shine and great fun.  Those attending on a very wet Saturday came prepared with rowdy, multi-colored rubber boots, slickers, tents and all the gear needed to kick back and enjoy a fabulous day with friends and family.  Sunday’s sun brought out even more festival fans.  It made for a winning combination and community celebration.

    The staff of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce would like to express our sincere thank you to everyone who attended and assisted us with the 21st Anniversary SML Wine Festival on September 26 and 27.

    An enthusiastic, well-organized group of more than 140 volunteers worked behind the scenes to put together this superb two-day event.  SML Regional Chamber members, their families, community volunteers and many others gave their talents and time to make this festival an extraordinary weekend for our community.

    In particular, we would like to thank our gracious host, Trey Park, as well as the LakeWatch Plantation staff who provided the expansive site, equipment and many hours of assistance in preparing for the event. 

    A debt of gratitude goes to the Franklin Country Sheriff’s Office, the Scruggs Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Rescue Squad, Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control, WSLS10’s Karen McNew, Sunny-FM Radio’s Larry Dowdy, Moneta Farm Supply, Willow Tree Nursery, Tidy Services, Kroger, Roanoke Golf Cart, Solid Ground Coffee & Ground and Aztec Rental for all they did to ensure a great experience.  We also want to extend  our thanks to the many members of the print and electronic media for their genuine interest in our story and the immeasurable help in getting event photos, press releases and details out to the public.

    Frank Chrzanowski, 2009 event chairman provided great leadership to an energetic team of Wine Festival committee chair people who, in turn, gathered additional crew members and supplies to make our fall celebration collectively come together. 

    The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce staff also extends a sincere appreciation to each of our 2009 sponsor businesses.  This event would not be possible without their help and support.  A special thanks goes to this year’s Platinum Sponsor, Grand Home Furnishings. 

    Gold Sponsors were: SunTrust, Kroger, and Dabareiner & Associates /Ameriprise. Silver Sponsors were:  Franklin Community Bank, Appalachian Power, BB&T, Lake-Country Properties, Virginia Furniture Market, Prudential Waterfront Properties and Catawba Capital Management.

    Bronze Sponsors included: Faber CPA Firm, LLC; Turner’s Dock Building; Premier Appraisals - Terri Fochtman; Leisure Publishing; Vogel and Cromwell; Virginia Furniture Market; Hometown Bank; Bridgewater Marina & Boat Rentals; Casa D’Amici “House Of Friends”; SML Retirement Village/Runk & Pratt; Shoprite Great Value; Harvey Dentistry SML; Bank of Botetourt; Aztec Rentals; Martinsville DuPont Credit Union; Eades & Lower Insurance.     We would also like to extend a note of thanks to the many ticket outlets: Arthur’s Jewelry, Bedford Visitor Center, Bernard’s Landing, Casa D’Amici, Moneta Farm Service, Hickory Hills Vineyard, Diamond Hill General Store, SML Building Supply, The General Store, Haywood Jewelers, Kroger-Westlake & Cave Spring, Willow Tree Nursery, Caroline’s in the City/Carters Jewelers, Provisions Gourmet, AmRhein Jewelers and Wine Gourmet.

    We’re grateful that for two decades, this rite of the fall season has been instrumental in attracting visitors, entertaining locals and overall providing an economic lift at Smith Mountain Lake.  Plans are already underway for next year’s 22nd Anniversary Wine Festival on Sept.25 and 26.  Rain or shine, we welcome everyone in the community and beyond to join us at the 2010 Wine Festival.  Thanks to all for the incredible support.

Vicki Gardner

Executive Director

SML Regional Chamber of Commerce

The closing of Camp 25

    I’m surprised at the complacency of the Botetourt county elected officials and residents, regarding the closing of Camp 25.

     Obviously the $30,000 plus to the county for utilities purchased by the camp is incidental.  The public service work that is provided by the camp at no charge, which will now be either left undone, or paid for from county funds is incidental.  The money spent in the county by the 120 employees at the camp, along with related sales tax, which goes back to the county will be lost.

     When your services are cut, and the real estate, personal property and utility taxes are increased to cover the loss in revenue, you will understand why it is important to keep this camp open.  You have a very limited amount of time to sway your elected officials in Richmond, to take your side, and prove to Gov. Kaine that his decision was not in the best interest of the DOC, or the local economy.

     If you do not take up this issue immediately, contact supervisors, get publicity on your side, contact the media, show that you are serious about the issue, and that the decision will affect your votes next year, then you will look back in 6 months, and regret your decisions.  Gov. Kaine does not care about an election.  He will not be up for reelection, however, he has been spending money from the Virginia coffers, your tax dollars, on your multiple trips around the nation for the Democratic Party.

     Those who are up for election, are the Senate and Representatives.   Those are the ones who care about your opinions.  Make them aware of that, and make your votes count.  Do not let this opportunity to make a difference in your county, and your personal finances get away from you.

 

Ethel Noell

Hardy

 

Descent into Socialism

    The problem with Socialism is that once you get into it, there is no way out.  After people begin to depend on health care/welfare there is no way to cut back or eliminate the programs, thus the only thing that can be done is to never start the health care/welfare programs. 

    The health care program proposed by the Obama Administration and supported by Mark Warner, Jim Webb and Tom Perriello is a Socialistic program that must be prevented.   ...

    The existing Socialistic programs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid were intended to be a safety net, but now have become the only source of income for most people.  Neither political party has the courage to cut back the programs, so cost of the programs continually rise and the taxes paid to cover the increased costs also rise.

    If there was no Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid people would be taken care of by their family as instructed in the Bible.  Socialistic programs are not Biblical

    Health Care/Welfare costs are out of control because people are not doing everything they can to avoid the need for health care/welfare.  The 46 million that are uninsured need to change their lifestyle more than they need health insurance.

    The blackest lie ever told by Democrats was that the Socialistic programs would be paid for by someone else.  It may start by taxing the rich, but those taxes will trickle down to every person in America.  The tax increase may not be income taxes, but taxes on necessities like phones, electricity, gas, etc.  If the Obama tariff on tires goes into effect, there will be a 35 percent increase in the price of tires.

    Democrats like to give people what they want, thus Socialistic programs seem to be a popular thing, except for the question of how to pay for the services.  Please call Warner, Webb and Perriello and tell them to stop the health care legislation.

    You may not think calling will make a difference, but you can be assured, the people on welfare that you are paying for are calling and demanding more services that you will have to pay for.

    Virginia has a great opportunity of stopping the overall Obama Socialistic Agenda by electing only Republicans in November.   If a Democrat does not support the Obama Socialistic Agenda, then they need to become a Republican or an Independent.

Clifford D. Russell

Forest