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Letters to the Editor 4/23/08

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Don?t forget the locally owned businesses

?What do you think will happen to your hardware business when Lowe?s opens here??

Every day for weeks we?re asked some variation on this question. All we can say is that we?re going to keep doing the same thing we?ve done for 110 years ... listen to our customers and help them solve their problems. We?ll personally attend to those we serve, and at a fair price, just as most other locally owned businesses in Bedford have always done.

There?s no question that Lowe?s has a lot of money to put up a huge building filled with a vast amount of stuff. Bedford Hardware has a catalog with access to much of that same stuff, but we also have floors that creak and stories that go back through the generations. And more importantly, you don?t have to push a red button in any of our aisles to get assistance.

We should all feel flattered, I suppose, to think that the major international retailers now see our little town as an important and viable development area, with a population that needs the great variety of merchandise that several acres of building can contain. But I hope our citizens will also recall that we have many locally owned businesses that for decades have provided the goods and services that our community needs.

We are very fortunate, in Centertown alone, to have not only hardware but also groceries, office supplies, pharmaceuticals, clothing and footwear, automobiles, jewelry, furniture and floor coverings, not to mention a nice mix of quality restaurants, antiques and giftware. And the beauty of buying locally is that, not only is the level of service generally much higher and more personal, but twice as much of each dollar spent in a locally owned business stays in the community as when spent in a chain store ... (and when bought over the Internet virtually none stays here).

So, is Lowe?s going to hurt us and the other local appliance, farm and garden, flooring, paint, etc. stores in town? It?s really up to you, Bedford. Having choices is a good thing, and we welcome Lowe?s and the other ?big box? retailers to our community. But please remember that by also supporting your local businesses, you?ll continue to have choices.

Bill Mosley

Proprietor, Bedford Hardware

A sad ending

I read with great interest this wonderful story about Rascal and the family who fostered him and helped him become such a wonderful family dog. He now has a great life with a new family and was saved from being euthanized at the County Animal Shelter. These foster families do a wonderful service to homeless animals.

This article made me think of an earlier story about the ?good ol? dog just looking for a home.? This was a story that you featured some weeks ago about a young hound mix who had been severely abused by his so-called ?owner? who had starved him and allowed him to develop mange all over his body.

The man was convicted of animal cruelty, and it appeared that his only sentence was that he not be allowed to own a pet in Bedford County again. That was not sufficient punishment for what he did to that dog.

The story gets much worse. During the three months in the shelter, I suppose the dog was kept there while the case was being readied for trial, the dog was fed and treated for mange. He was then put up for adoption. The mange, while treatable and not contagious, would have to be treated for the rest of his life. I called and told the person at the shelter that I would take him if no one else would, so that he would not be euthanized.

However, I had to take my two dogs, the younger of which I had just adopted at the shelter in December, to see my vet. My six year old dog had just been diagnosed with heart disease. I told my vet about the abused dog and my plans to adopt him if no one else would. My vet told me that I should not do that as his treatment would be very expensive for the rest of his life and that the mange and starvation had compromised his immune system.

Two days after that the shelter called me and told me that no one else had called and, if I did not want the dog, he would have to be put down. It was very hard for me to make this decision, but I could not afford his treatment.

A couple of hours after talking to them, I remembered a television show on Animal Planet about a place in Utah that takes in animals from all over the country that have been abused and are about to be euthanized. I called them and was told that they have a network to get them out there free of charge. I immediately called the shelter to get the dog. No one answered so I called Animal Control. The dispatcher called the shelter, only to find that the dog had been euthanized right after they had called me. It nearly broke my heart.

That poor little dog did not deserve this. His first year of life had been filled with unending pain from hunger and mange. He deserved to be loved and cared for, and to live out the rest of his life in comfort and with love and caring. Had his ?owner? been fined enough money for his treatment, I or someone else could have cared for him and paid for his treatment.

Some may say that this was ?just a dog.? However, he was one of God?s creatures who was put on this earth for us to care for, not to abuse.

I hope that in future our courts will order animal abusers to pay fines that will cover veterinary treatment for animals so that they can be adopted and treated. Also, for extreme cases such as this, I believe that some time in jail is warranted.

Virginia Arthur

Bedford

Great job

I just wanted to say thank you and what a great job, to everyone who made it possible for the Kids Safety/Healthy Day at the Bedford Armory on Saturday, April 12. My husband and I took our 2 year old son and had a great time.

And being a parent, your always thinking safety for your children on how the world is now. We just hope this becomes a yearly thing and becomes even bigger and better each year. If anyone cares to hear any ideas for next year I would be glad to share a few that I think may be good.

This is a good event for families to do together and something we need a little more of here in Bedford.

Leslie Pendleton

Bedford

National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is one of the highlights of the year for The Fresh Air Fund, and I would like to use this opportunity to extend my deepest thanks to our dedicated Fresh Air hosts, volunteers and supporters in the Bedford County area. They truly embody the meaning of the 2008 National Volunteer Week theme, ?Volunteer to Change the World.?

Year after year, our volunteers demonstrate their commitment to helping New York City children by continuing the Fresh Air tradition in the community.

Our volunteers are our heroes. Caring Fresh Air host families open their homes and share the everyday joys of summertime with their Fresh Air guests. Our local volunteer leaders ? many of whom are also hosts ? give by serving on our local committees, planning summer activities, publicizing the program and interviewing prospective host families. I would also like to thank all individuals and businesses which have generously given their time and resources to make the Friendly Town host family program throughout this area a great success each and every summer.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children since 1877. For more information on how you can help to continue this wonderful tradition of volunteering, please call The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003 or visit www.freshair.org.

Jenny Morgenthau

Executive Director