Letters to the editor

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Streets were still full of excitement

The rain is well needed and we could not have a wetter weekend for Bedford’s 27th Annual Centerfest!

The Worx brought entertainment to the Farmers Market for the kick off concert. The concern was how to keep the visitors dry and happy for the event. We needed help to “save” the concert , and after talking to Ronnie Rice, one of our own Bedford residents came through! A very special thanks Joe Pillow, Auctioneer for donating the tent to keep us dry and able to enjoy the concert. The tent was very useful Saturday for enjoying the additional entertainment in the farmer’s market. It was a well attended event even in the rain. The attendance was about half of the 25,000 visitors we had in 2007.

The weather on Saturday for the Street Festival put a damper on the attendance but the streets were full of excitement. Vendors still had a great day selling and promoting in our great little town. The were five stages of live music and entertainment, artists, clowns, a stilt-walker, puppet shows, dancers, ballet dancers, Bellies were filled with gyros, sausage sandwiches, Chicken salad croissants, fresh baked pastries, apples, fresh squeezed lemonade, potato fries, ice cream, fresh donuts and more! Children enjoyed amusements, face painting, games, singing and dancing. Parents could relax with friends knowing their children were safe and enjoying the event. Our 2008 T-shirt design winner, Ian Anderson put his autograph on T-shirts for customers during the day.

One of our biggest highlights was Django, a monkey who was really stealing the show.

The Aero Modelers demonstrated their talents in the Farmer’s Market and the K-9 dog show was a nice feature as well.

Our local merchants enjoyed bringing their wares into the street and letting shoppers see what they offer all year. The holidays are just around the corner. It is a good time to plan and shop! We had all winning entries for our scarecrow contest in Centertown Park from Art-on-Depo, D Reynolds Mens Clothing, Prissy Parrot & Cup a Joe.

I wanted to take a moment to express my deepest thanks for the community support of Centerfest 2008. A thanks and appreciation to all 60 of our Bedford Main Street volunteers and their commitment to help. We just can’t do events with out their help.

The Bedford Bulletin did a superb job of promoting Bedford and Centerfest. If that wasn’t enough they generously volunteered and helped through out the day. It was a real pleasure working with our hometown paper and employees.

Thank you to our Bedford City Police Department, Engineering Department, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Electric Department for assisting with the event. Thanks to Bedford County for the use of the Court House and County Administration Building. Thanks to Kay Brownsword for delivering breakfast to our staff and volunteers early Saturday morning.

This event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. I would like to personally thank Scott Carter and American National Bank & Trust Co. for their Platinum sponsorship and support of Centerfest. The Bedford Bulletin & staff, L E Lichford, Hickory Hill Winery, Berglund of Bedford, Q99, K92, Star Country, Bank of the James, & the Planet also gave generously to support our event. We 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. Thank you to all.

Linda Exley

Executive Director, Bedford Main Street, Inc.

By their fruits

Rick Howell’s latest screed would have made me laugh if it weren’t so sad. After all, the last refuge of one who is called on their bad behavior is to invoke Jesus’ admonition to “judge not lest you be so judged.”

I don’t pass judgment on Rick Howell, or on Barry Lynn for that matter. That is rightfully God’s job. But I am reminded that Jesus also said, “By their fruits you will know them.” Clearly, then, Christians are called to make judgments. And in my judgment, the activities of Barry Lynn’s and Rick Howell’s group do not lead people to true devotion and love. They do not further the Gospel. They do not bring people to Christ. On the contrary, they stifle the Word and create divisiveness. They therefore cannot be of God.

Rick Howell’s position that the Constitution means different things at different times is another liberal concoction that is simply untrue. If it were true, then the Founders would not have provided a way to amend the Constitution. But they recognized times would change and so they did give us a way to change the clear meaning of the Constitution—and it was not the courts. Nonetheless, the first refuge of liberals has become the courts. Liberals find refuge in the courts because their positions almost always are anathema to most Americans and would never be passed into law.

For example, if Rick Howell wants to limit our right to bear arms, then he should start a movement to amend the Constitution accordingly. Of course, that won’t happen. That is because most Americans would strongly oppose such an effort. And so the only chance he would have to get his way is through unelected judges who haven given themselves the power to change the original meaning of the Constitution regardless of what the rest of us think.

Concerning religion, the Constitution’s First Amendment simply says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The words on their face should be perfectly clear to anyone who reads them. After all, they were clear to the same first Congress that proposed the Bill of Rights—the very same Congress that opened its legislative day with prayer and voted to spend federal dollars to establish Christian missions in the West. They could do those things and not be in violation of the Constitution because the establishment clause has to do with prohibiting Congress from setting up a Church of the United States. It has nothing to do with Gideons passing out Bibles.

In fact, the meaning of the First Amendment was perfectly clear from the time the Bill of Rights went into effect in 1791 until a decision in 1947 when the Supreme Court created out of whole cloth the concept of “separation of church and state.” In other words, it took 156 years for our guaranteed freedom of religion to be trumped by a new, made up power of the government. Interestingly, the Bill of Rights was designed to limit the power of the government and to enshrine individual rights. That’s been turned on its head thanks to liberal Supreme Court decisions. We now have the bizarre situation where Howell’s liberal group is forcing the government to prohibit the Gideons from exercising their freedom of religion. Our Founders would be shocked. We should be, as well.

Rick Howell did get one thing right. He pointed out that the Supreme Court is sometimes wrong, and sometimes those decisions get corrected. If more Justices like John Roberts and Samuel Alito get appointed to the Supreme Court, we have a better chance of getting back to the original meaning of the Constitution. That alone is reason enough to vote for John McCain.

I’ll continue to pray for Rick Howell and Barry Lynn.

Ken Bradford


Get used to it

Before the rain from tropical storm Faye came in late August, I applied a truck load of nitrogen and a load of 10-10-10 fertilizer on the pastures. I also had applied 60 containers of biosolids and four trailer loads of chicken manure.

After getting the bill for the commercial fertilizer it will probably be the last time I use it. The price has quadrupled in the past four years while cattle prices remained stable. One farmer told me he would quit before he used biosolids. Without off farm income all of us will have to quit if we depend on manufactured fertilizer to grow our crops. Over the years I have budgeted one forth of the sale of cattle for fertilizer. If I fertilize as I have in the past it would take the whole calf crop to pay for the fertilizer with nothing left for other expenses or to live on.

Three years ago I bought a poultry litter spreader to help relieve the poultry waste problem in the Shenandoah Valley. When fertilizer prices skyrocketed poultry litter vanished. That leaves the farmers with two choices: use biosolids or call the auctioneer. Hardly a day goes by that another farmer doesn’t ask how to get biosolids applied to his land.

The folks in Central Virginia are going to have to get used to the smell if they want to continue to see open spaces. As much as I enjoy being a cattleman we have to make a profit to survive on the farm.

Richard H. Ruff


Habitat thanks the community

On July 10, Lowe’s official opening day, they presented Bedford Habitat for Humanity an opportunity to have our ministry friends buy gift cards for themselves.

Lowe’s would match the gift card sales on that day, up to $5,000, as a supporting gift to BHFH. Local support was tremendous. Churches printed the opportunity in their bulletins. Word spread from friend to friend. The excitement was high.

Days following the event we were asked, “Did we make it?” The results didn’t reach us until last week. Total gift card sales were $6,245. Thanks to all our generous, supporting friends a gift card for $5,000 was received enabling BHFH to purchase building materials.

Bob Cornell

BHFH President

Sign stolen

Someone stole my Obama/Biden yard sign Saturday night.

I am confounded by the action; I can’t imagine the kind of person that does something like that. If you needed an Obama/Biden sign for your own yard, you could have gotten one from the Democratic headquarters on Main Street. Or you could have stopped and asked me for mine. I’m perfectly willing to share what I have with those in need. You don’t have to steal from me, just ask.

If, on the other hand, you stole my sign because you disagree about my choice of candidate for President, then stop and enter into a discussion of the respective merits of our particular candidates. Give me a chance to disagree with you in person. Unless the reason you disagree is that my candidate has African blood, in which case I can completely imagine the kind of person who steals from another to feed his or her misguided, illogical notions of racial superiority. Stealing is a violent act and covert violent acts under cover of night are a hallmark of cowards.

So, to whomever stole my Obama/Biden yard signeeit was a disgraceful, wrong-thinking act. I can replace the sign but you have committed an act that has diminished you.

Shelley Starr

The BarnHouse Garden


Where did our freedom go?

On Friday, Sept. 19, 2008, I participated in a Prayer Walk in Washington,D.C.

Simply put, myself and several friends, walked around the capital and prayed for the ones who work in those buildings. We did this in a very civilized way. However, when we reached the Supreme Court building and stood on the steps and began to pray, we were immediately told to stop, that we could not demonstrate on the steps. The policeman did tell us we could demonstrate on the sidewalk as that was public property but the steps were federal property.

Needless to say, I was dumbfounded. We did not consider ourselves to be demonstrators (maybe they consider anyone who gathers as a group to be demonstrators, I don't know) we were not there to protest.

As a taxpayer, I thought Washington belonged to the American people. We elect the officials and our tax dollars pay for these buildings and monuments. How sad to think we have come down to being told where you can pray. Our country was founded on Christian principles, yet this seems to have been forgotten.

As James Madison once said, "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."

Kay Hawkins


The McCain-Palin flying circus

Republicans like McCain are stalwart de-regulators.

Consider the Reagan administration initiative that culminated in the S&L collapse. McCain and his ‘Keating Five’ pals were smack dab in the middle of it. The taxpayer invoice for that clean-up? $125 billion.

Starting in 1999, Phil Gramm (McCain’s campaign co-chair) sponsored multiple pieces of legislation to de-regulate the banking industry. Until last week, the most notorious result was Enron – costing taxpayers billions – and igniting the 2001 economic downturn. The current maelstrom presents us with an invoice of $700,000,000,000.00ee yes, $700 billion. Keep in mind that’s a preliminary estimate, on top of the bailouts of Bear-Stearns, Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae, and AIG.

Phil Gramm authored McCain’s economic plan, and is his likely choice for treasury secretary. McCain’s campaign chairman, Rick Davis, was paid $1.8 million by Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae to lobby against regulation. Have you read McCain’s recent article suggesting the health insurance industry be de-regulated, much like the banking industry? Are you feeling uncomfortable yet?

The McCain-Palin Flying Circus act is appalling. Even Republican cheerleaders like Fox and the Wall Street Journal have noted the de-railment of the ‘straight-talk express’. McCain used to be characterized as a ‘good man’, but has morphed into a confused liar who has sold his soul for ambition. His choice of Palin - ‘tiny-town’ mayor and ‘tiny-state’ governor’ (population 2/3 the size of Richmond)? In a word: reckless. Her startling lack of readiness and stunning lack of integrity are chilling.

Like Monty Python, this duo is a fantastic farce - but unlike Monty Python, devoid of comedy. We need a grown-up for president, and as it turns out - the elder candidate is nothing more than a recalcitrant child.

Nicole Wagoner


Independent thinker

Obviously there is enough blame to go around regarding how we got in the financial debacle we are faced with today, but I come back to the Truman saying "the buck stops here."

Bush and Co had the reins for six years. If, indeed they had wanted change or have banking regulations imposed, it would have been done. It is easy to give lip service, with a wink. while pushing tax payer's dollars in your bags for the quick get away. McCain's Keating history, when coupled

with the most recent connection of his campaign manager's law firm taking $15,000 a month for retainer's fees from Freddie Mac up until last month, sounds tainted at best.

Republicans are going to vote for McCain - regardless, and the same for diehard Democrats. My reason for voting for Obama is for real change and I am an optimistic Independent.

It is now obvious that we did not need Bin Ladin or outside terrorists to be on red alert because we already had Bush, and now McSame, doing their work for them!

To all Independent voters, I urge them to consider voting with their brain rather than relying on old prejudices. Their vote is the equalizer. Don't just give it to a candidate without serious consideration of the problems this country is faced with.

Marie Batten

Next, sub-prime auto

Bad credit, No problem; No credit, No problem; we will pay off the money you owe on your trade-in; we own the finance company!

Now there’s a company in which I would like to place my retirement funds for future growth. I just wonder if they bundle these auto loans and sell the package to other financial institutions?

Greed has a great partner in those individuals lacking any sense of business ethics. Not only did real-estate mortgage brokers request the highest evaluating appraisers to participate in their scheme, borrowers encouraged to overstate their income levels willingly did so. The borrowers signed untrue financial statements, secured their loans to then learn life’s lessons the hard way.

How many thousands or millions of persons were lacking in the most basic of ethical principals, just to tell the truth? Enough to rack up billions in apparently improperly secured debt.

Today I thanked my 4- and 8-year-old grandsons for taking on this government bailout debt, just so my retirement income from investments did not evaporate into thin air. Perhaps the financial gurus of the investment houses will scrutinize future mortgage bundles better. Seems like that should have been part of a routine good business practice long before now.

I just wonder when the government credit card will reach its limit? What then, change our ways?

Ed Wennerstrom


Eliminating our debt

Our city manager is doing a good job. Under our last city manager our city debt grew to over $40,000,000 .

Under our present mayor and council it has been reduced to $36,976,420. Interest expense last year June 30, 2008, was $1,177,811. We need to raise taxes and element this interest expense. Fifty dollars a year would do the trick in 10 years.

Robert S. Rucker


Choosing leadership

Of course, when more than one person is trying to set forth procedures or establish rules or guidelines for anything, there are always differences of opinion or points to argue.

The outcome is usually a result of who presents the case or facts best, or whoever speaks the loudest, or whoever is more intimidating. The results are not always in the best interest of all involved or even the majority. These ways often mis-lead into being and end up causing more harm than good, and usually at the cost of the majority. Too often the ways established are in favor of those establishing the way. This is how we have so many different forms of government on this

earth. As we can see, none of them are very good. None of them follow the guidelines our Creator.

Most people don't like having rules which prohibit them from doing what they want. They feel like it is limiting or taking away their rights. Even though these rules are in our best interest. Has not history proven how many of the things people want really harm them in so many ways, cost so much more than it was worth in the long-run, created so much stress and hardships on ourselves and our families? Most of the things we want, we have no need for them.

The Creator of all we know, God Almighty, told our fathers how to live, and told them to teach these ways to their children, so that they may know and see the truth in God's Word. A truth that will free us all of the burdens we pile upon our lives. A truth that will make our lives more meaningful and valuable to us and our families.

Over time, man has learned so much, and done many great things, thru the talents and abilities that God gave us. Unfortunately, man has also been mis-lead and deceived into doing so many terrible things as well. I see where as man has learned more, man has taught the "knowledge of man", and the more man learns, the more man focuses on the "ways of man", instead of teaching the "knowledge of GOD", and focusing on the "ways of God". Who knows more and better for man that the One who created us all?

The more man teaches "man's way", the more mankind suffers. believe that is why the forefathers of this country founded this country on God and His ways. That is why our forefathers said we should elect Christian leaders and uphold Christian values and morals.

Great speakers that say all the right things, are not always good leaders, just good speakers, and sometimes good

speakers are silver-tongued devils out to deceive and destroy. God wants the mis-guided to be restored to His way. God does

not want us to be deceived and miss out on all He has planned for us. In the knowledge of mankind's history, why can we not realize the wisdom of God is far superior to ours, and we should learn from Him, and agree that His ways and commands are the best way for us to live our lives on this earth. We are all created by God, and God wants all of His children to come back to Him. Each and every person needs to learn the Bible for their self, not taking for granted all that some of these false churches are teaching.

Not allowing ourselves to fall for the political correctness which is Biblical corruption. Not allowing ourselves to be deceived by these people who declare false ways of spirituality and getting to Heaven. There is only one way to Heaven, that is thru believing in, loving, and following Jesus Christ. Everybody needs to learn the Bible, cause there is more to getting to Heaven than just believing! You need to find out for yourself. Learn the truth, live the truth, share the truth.

Each and every country needs to elect Christian leaders, and stand strong for the ways of God.

Gary Proffitt