Letters to the editor

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Time to move forward

The election is behind us now and it is time to move forward. The decisions of who our leaders will be as been made. Although I am disappointed in the results, I was proud to have been apart of this time honored, time tested "American" process. Congratulations to Mike Brown, Lacey Putney, and the other candidates who ran contested races and won. We now entrust the next four years to you.

Over 40 percent of those who voted in the Sheriff's race, voted for change. Unfortunately, less than a third of eligible voters actually participated. I'm not sure if one third of the voters illustrates the true feelings of Bedford County. I think Mr. Green would agree, we felt there were far more people who wanted change. Especially in a local election, it is important for everyone to vote.

Elections are more about strategy and exposure than they are about ideals and values. I listened to an outspoken lady in Boonsboro on Election Day who said she felt it was time for a change. She told me that she did not vote for me because she saw the campaign signs of another candidate in Big Island. Whether you agree with her methodology of selecting government leaders or not she certainly validates my point.

Rumors are another factor that must be contended with. I apologize to the citizens who were counting me. My campaign tactics were not sufficient enough to address such misinformation as; disbanding volunteer programs or that I was going to replace all of the deputies with City officers. Which camp it came from is not important. Unfortunately, it's part of the process and I simply was not able to overcome them.

I had many rewarding experiences during this campaign. I made new friends and became reunited with friends from the past. I had multiple opportunities to interact with the Press in print, TV and radio. Raised as an Independent who tended to vote on the conservative right, I have developed a deep sense of respect for the people of the Bedford County Democratic Committee, the City Committee, and the Lake Democrats. I learned a few more things about campaigning and other lessons I learned, from my 1995 bid, were validated. I hope to apply these lessons in the future in support of a fellow south-side native in a campaign.

I want to publicly thank all those who voted for me and supported me. There were many who helped through "behind-the-scenes" efforts and I greatly appreciate them. There were a few however, that were truly committed to me and believed it was time for a change. They were always ready to do what was necessary to make change happen. On a regular basis they made phone calls and developed contacts, they were putting up signs, attended civic functions with me, they went door to door, provided transportation to and from events, and wrote letters of support. These valued people, are the ones who truly make this community home for me! Again thank you.

I especially want to acknowledge and thank God for with out Him we are all lost, my wife Sara, for her continued love and support, and for my daughters who still think their dad is number 1.

Darryl Updike


Celebrity more important

Apparently Bedford thinks we need a celebrity more than we need a Sheriff since Mike Brown got reelected.

While campaigning for Mr. Updike the things I heard and the out come of the election just do not add up. I guess people just didn't see fit to go out and vote their convictions. The outcome could have been different had the voters exercised their rights and voted ? with 46,352 registered voters in Bedford City and County and only 13,198 voting. Now we will have to live with the out come for another four more years.

I would like to say something to the citizens of Bedford City and County. We have rights and if you are ever treated like some have been treated in the past, we don't have to just give in and bear it. Stand up for our rights and don't let things just slide between the cracks.

No one is above reproach no matter how high he sits on the totem pole.

I would like to thank everyone who did come out to vote for Mr. Updike. I for one believe he would have made us a wonderful sheriff, one we could have been proud of.

Julie Manley


A Slap in the face

I left work last evening, Wednesday, Nov. 7, looking forward to a quiet evening at home. I don't get too many of them because of commitments here and there.

This particular evening was perfect, because I was not obligated anywhere, my wife had a school reunion meeting, and it was too cold for visitors. I made a stop at the local grocers, Vista Foods, just to pick up a Bedford paper.

I like to read the Bedford paper because Bedford always seems to have a lot of wonderful events taking place in and around the county, and I like to be aware of them in case we have time to attend. So I arrived home, went into my house, talked to my wife a few minutes before she left for her meeting, read my mail, listened to my phone messages, talked to my mom on the phone, and put the dog out for a while. I then began to settle down and try to catch up on my paperwork, catch up on writing that I had started, and read the newspaper.

I decided to read the paper first.

Folks, I was in no way prepared for the slap in the face I received when I opened the paper. Bedford County had run up a bill of $216,605 to have a professional cleaning company come and and clean four of five schools in view of the MRSA cases, and they did it knowing that whatever this professional company did in a few hours was in no way more effective against MRSA than what the professional custodians already in the system do every day. You see, I am a custodian in the Bedford County School System, and after reading this article, I really and truly don't understand just how very little Bedford County thinks of its custodians.

I don't know what kind of message the public received from those actions, but the message I received, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, is that we're not doing our jobs, and we don't know how even if we were. When you shut down schools so you could put on this big, expensive leaning show, our custodial staff here at Forest Elementary worked from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until this day, we have yet to see any concerned personnel so much as ride through the parking lot.

They make it mandatory for custodians to be there to watch over the buildings on Halloween, but they make sure to send out a memo that they won't pay overtime for it. When it snows, they want us to be there cleaning the walks and checking the building, but treat it like another day at the office?no overtime involved.

We ask for a decent raise, but they can't do it because they don't have the money. but in spite of being treated as non-essential, we, the professional custodial staff of Bedford County, get up each day, go to our schools, put on our gloves and clean and sanitize the bathrooms, water fountains, cafeterias, and scrub, wash, and mop the floors, then vacuum and shampoo the carpets, clean the windows and window sills, clean and sanitize the tables, countertops and chairs, pick up the trash, clean up the spills, and keep the grass cut and edged.

We don't do this because Bedford County treats us so well. Instead, we do it because of the pride we have in ourselves and our buildings, and because no matter what anyone else says or thinks, we are professionals and we do our job as any professional would. I would encourage all custodians to continue to do their jobs in the professional manner that they have and hope that one day someone will see us as a very essential part of Bedford County.

Slapped in the face.

Robert Carson

Forest Elementary School

Thanks for voting

I would like to express appreciation to everyone in District 5 who took time out of his or her day to vote last Tuesday. Even though the supervisor seat for which I ran was unopposed, I want everyone to know I do not take this position lightly.

I try very hard to be accountable to the taxpayers and to listen to their voices all through the year. I am available to anyone to discuss any issues or concerns and encourage anyone who has a question, etc., to always feel free to contact me. I am available by email - s.arrington@co.bedford.va.us, regular mail ? 6131 Wheats Valley Road, Bedford, VA 24523 and phone ? 540-586-4721. Again, thank you for taking time to vote and God bless each of you always.

Steve Arrington

Supervisor ? District 5


Appreciates support of concerts

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the hundreds of people who turned out on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Staunton River High School for the Moneta YMCA / 2nd Flyte Concerts. The back-to-back events were the centerpieces of the kick off fundraising campaign for the new Moneta Area Family YMCA.

Our sincerest thanks go to Mary Jo Boone, and the staff of the Bedford YMCA for their leadership in planning this special fund-raising evening.

We would also like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to Steve Arrington and the rest of the band members of ?2nd Flyte? who gave the gracious gift of their time to play two concerts. The band left the crowds cheering and brought them to their feet numerous times as they performed. Steve single-handedly sold over 300 tickets by rallying area citizens to the cause.

A big thank you to Dr. Leonard Cohen for coming in ?true 60?s attire.? He wowed everyone and earned the title of ?Hippest Hippie?.

We?d also like to thank the businesses and individuals who kindly donated items for the silent and live auctions, and the following sponsors who gave generously: Waterways Properties, Long & Foster, FNB, 106.9 BOB FM, Bank of Fincastle, Sam Moore Furniture Industries, Sorrentino Asset Management, Shoprite, Franklin Ready Mix, Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Reaves Timber Corporation, in memory of Edwin Reaves, Shaheen & Shaheen Law Firm, George Cooper- State Farm Insurance, Glenwood Esso & Oil Company, The Bedford Bulletin, Moneta Farm Service, and Shelor Motor Mile.

Finally, we want to thank the many volunteers who gave months of their time, in preparation for this memorable event. It is this type of spirit and collaboration that will build this facility for the entire community.

All of them made this event an overwhelming success.

George and Michelle Aznavorian


Open enrollment

From Nov. 15-Dec 31 Medicare Part D will be having its open enrollment period for 2008. During this period anyone on Medicare or entering Medicare may choose which Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage program they wish to participate in for 2008.

Once again the Bedford Parish Nurse Ministry of St John's Episcopal Church and Cool Spring Presbyterian Church will be having a Medicare Part D Clinic on Thursdays from 9-3 at Main Street United Methodist Church's computer lab located on the second floor of the church. At the clinic trained volunteers will put your prescription information in the computer and show you which plans will give you the most coverage for the least money. Even if you are already enrolled in a Medicare Part D or a Medicare Advantage program it would be wise to check out your coverage with the computer as changing premiums and/or changing medications might make a different plan more economical for 2008.

To sign up for an appointment or for any questions call Parish Nurse Pam Willoughby at 875-8655.

Rev. Geoff Hubbard

Cool Spring Presbyterian Church


A gratifying experience

Running for Bedford County?s School Board has been a very gratifying experience. I want to take the opportunity to once again, thank the many kind people who supported me in so many ways.

I believe that my efforts to work on behalf of the citizens, the students and especially the silent majority of teachers and educators has given them hope that people in our community do care about education in Bedford.

It is my wish that citizens from every district in Bedford consider what a difference that they may make if, they too, make the effort to stand up and offer to serve.

Bedford County?s District 5 School Board representation has had the unfortunate experience of turbulence in turnover due to circumstances outside our electorate?s control. I felt it necessary to give the control back to our citizens by allowing them to vote for whomever would represent the district?s best interest.

The diverse makeup of District 5?s population and political perspectives makes this district?s profile complex. That is also illustrated by the distribution of voter support varying between the more heavily populated newer neighborhoods versus the more rural side of our district. I hope our newly elected representative will strive to serve both perspectives in the tough decisions lying ahead for Bedford County Schools and all of its citizens.

My decision to run again for the open seat was about principle. The principle of promises kept, and the principle of District 5?s electorate being the proper decision maker of who serves us and to have the chance to elect someone who should be accountable to the people in our district (as opposed to potential loyalties to the people from outside our district who appointed them). From that perspective, I believe it is mission accomplished.

Laura B. Rodes


Updating book

In 1993, I wrote a book called "Creating Your Own Woodshop." It came out in 1994 and did decently. The publisher now wants an update and expansion (doubling the length, all color photography, making sure everything is up to date, adding new shops, and so on).

I'd like to invite interested local woodworkers to drop me a note or give me a call if they'd like to be included in the book. Local to me means Roanoke, Roanoke City, Bedford County and City, Lynchburg, Campbell and Franklin counties. Beyond that, and we're also beyond the scope of the quite miserly advance at today's gas prices.

There is no cost. There is also no remuneration.

Depending on a shop's size and complexity, my tour and photography may take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours, never more.

The publisher with whom I contracted to do this book is F&W, publisher of Popular Woodworking Books. The book is intended as an eventual main selection for their Popular Woodworking Book Club.

Charlie Self


Proud of supervisor

I want to write and express my gratitude and respect I have for our District 5 Supervisor Steve Arrington.

Even though he ran for re-election unopposed, he still went out shaking hands of the people and asking for their continued support. I can truly say I feel he represents "his people" in the District well and puts their feelings as priority when a vote is called.

Is he the most popular? No.

Is he always liked for what he says? No. But does that bother him? No.

He took office to represent people on all issues and to help us have a voice in government by voting for our interest. It is so important to have a person that you can feel at ease and know he is working for you. Steve is the same everyday to people he represents, not like many who

are friendly and go out of the way to speak prior to the day of going to the poll. For that I am grateful and support him for another another term of Supervisor.

Wanda Toms

District 5