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Opinion

  • School Board thanks

    businesses

  • As we gather together in the midst of family BBQ's, parades and fireworks commemorating our nation’s independence, we also remember and honor our founding fathers and their vision of a great and free nation.  Nearly 170 years later, 35 boys from Bedford stormed the beaches of Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion with hundreds of thousands of allied forces.  These brave men answered the call to service and many paid the last full measure of devotion so that we can enjoy the freedoms and liberties envisioned by our founding fathers.

  •     I find it difficult to believe that the most important issue before Bedford County government right now could be the Stalin bust at the National D-Day Memorial, but apparently it is.

        County supervisors gave veterans a highly publicized forum and then voted unanimously to pass a resolution telling the memorial’s governing foundation that - as television news dramatically put it - “the Stalin bust must go!”

  •     A couple of weeks ago, I urged people who don’t think a bust of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin belongs at the National D-Day Memorial to be team players as far as the Memorial, itself, goes. It’s really hard to do that when D-Day Memorial Foundation decision makers apparently won’t let them do it.

  • Restoring the Mill

        I have been a member of the Big Otter Mill Commission, who have been working for some time to get the Big Otter Mill back into working order, since the summer of 2007. The progress we have made since then has been simply amazing. The actual water wheel, which was 18 feet in diameter by 6 feet wide, and weighing roughly 8 tons, has been hoisted off its bearings, and disassembled. We have placed an order to get new buckets manufactured, which we should receive about two months hence.

  • It is far too easy for those in Washington to forget just how brutal this economy is for working families back home. Every weekend when I travel around the 5th district, I hear stories of the struggles of those who are looking for work or trying to make ends meet in these tough times. It has become increasingly clear to me that the elites in the United States Senate have completely lost touch with the struggles and challenges of the people they represent.

  • This week House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that, in fact, the House Democrats will not produce a federal budget resolution for fiscal year 2011.  This marks the first time since the passage of the Budget Act of 1974 that the House of Representatives has failed to pass an initial budget, setting the spending priorities for the following fiscal year.  What does this mean for American taxpayers?

  •     Everyone knew that whoever won the 2008 presidential campaign would have to face tough issues and many a difficult choice inheriting the mess left by George W. Bush.

        Newsweek and NBC reporter Howard Fineman has written that President Barack Obama is “hunkered down” these days in the White House, under siege from the weight of the troubles he’s facing.

  • For the second time in its history, plans for Explore Park to become a multi-million dollar family vacation destination spot have fallen by the wayside.

        At the Park’s inception, the plan was for a $350 million Lewis and Clark-themed park with hotels, a zoo, retail and other attractions. The park would eventually take a different route, before falling on hard times in 2007. That’s when the living history portion of the park shut down because of a lack of funds.

  • Empower and honor our Constitution

        As we honor and empower our wounded warriors, constituents owe it to them to honor and empower our wounded constitution.

        We should never assume that all elected officials are vigilant in empowering and honoring our constitution.

        As it is the duty of soldiers to serve and protect our freedom, so it should be the duty of constituents to purge elected officials straying from the constitution for their own personal empowerment.

  • As I travel around our communities, I constantly hear from small business owners that the banks just will not lend, particularly the big banks that got bailed out. Even in these tough times, we know that two out of every three new jobs is created by a small or medium-sized business, and we know that this job growth is being limited by a lack of capital lending.

     

  • Nearly two months ago an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico.  This explosion, which tragically took the lives of eleven hard working Americans, resulted in an environmental catastrophe like we have never seen before.  The oil spill continues to have an enormous impact on the Gulf Coast region, its economy, and the environment.

  • Women veterans are eligible for the same benefits as male veterans.  Comprehensive health services are available to all women veterans including primary care, specialty care, mental health care and reproductive health care services.

        The following questions and answers should be helpful to the woman seeking VA healthcare assistance.

        1. What services are available to women veterans?  A full continuum of comprehensive health care including health promotion is available at VA medical facility convenient to you. 

  •     Even while memories of last winter’s heavy snows still linger, we face a long hot summer.

        Given the state of our world today, a sense of humor is a necessary tool of survival. Summer seems to bring out the silly season in both politics and sports, the latter being something I enjoy as a diversion from more serious matters (probably another survival tool).

  •     Helen Thomas’ career ending rant a few weeks ago was interesting.

        The geriatric liberal was at a Jewish Heritage Celebration at the White House, May 27, when she told a rabbi, on camera, that Jews should get out of Palestine and go “home” to Poland, Germany, America and elsewhere.

  • While Joseph Stalin might have played a part in the eventual Allied victory that was precipitated by the actions of June 6, 1944, having his bust at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford does more harm than good. Yes, Stalin was the leader of Russia, an ally to the invasion, but he was also much more — a murderer of millions as the Soviet dictator. His place in the history of World War II can be told at the Memorial without the bust. His bust at the Memorial muddies the message of why the Memorial exists.

  • Stalin not

    honored by bust

        As volunteer at the National D-Day Memorial, I would like to hopefully help clear up a misconception concerning the bust of Joseph Stalin which is still causing quite a flap locally and even abroad.

        The bust, in no way honors Stalin.

  • Last week, in a rare showing of bipartisanship in Washington, the House of Representatives joined forces to pass common-sense reforms related to mortgages and housing loans. The Federal Housing Administration Reform Act, which sailed through the House nearly unanimously, will encourage responsible homeownership for those who can afford it, while rooting out and cracking down on lenders who make risky or fraudulent loans.

  • During last week’s congressional district work period, I spent time talking with business owners, workers, job seekers, and others about what we can do to turn our economy around. I cherish my time here because I never want to lose touch with the challenges and needs of the families who sent me to Washington to work for them. These conversations help supply me with many good ideas that I can take back to Washington.