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Opinion

  • Enough is enough

        Redundant animal fighting legislation escalated above many laws protecting people from actual crime caused Avery Fitzgerald of Bedford to be arrested and possibly face two felony counts of selling a chicken with “intent.” Potentially, this man can receive 10 years in prison for selling a rooster to police officers that may (or may not) have been for fighting.

  •     Katherine “Kitty” Wheat Carper, 99, of Huntington, died Friday, Jan. 2, 2009, at Woodlands Retirement Community.  Kitty was born Oct. 3, 1909, in Bedford County, Virginia a daughter of the late Otis Pierce and Katie Bascom Ware Wheat. 

  •     We say goodbye to 2008 tonight and greet a brand new year tomorrow. Shortly, we will also greet a brand new president when Barack Obama is sworn in as our 44th president. As the old year winds down, he's already taking some heat — from his own party.

  •     That time of the year has arrived again in which we think about what has passed and ponder what may be ahead.

        The United States is, in 2008, in a major recession. We just went through a Christmas season in which retail business may have seen recent record lows in holiday spending. The auto industry got a bailout, but one that was modest compared to what was done for the financial markets.

  • Pennies make dollars

        When I was a young child my parents used to say: “Son, save your pennies as they make dollars.”

        So to this day I watch my pennies, nickels and dimes when shopping. It is a sad commentary, recently, to experience at the check out counter of two stores here in Bedford being charged more for an item than posted on their shelves under the items chosen.

  • And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

        (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

        And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

        And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

  •     Christmas will be over by the time Barack Obama takes the oath of office as our 44th president, but Obama Claus is promising a whole bag full of goodies.

  •     In 1946, a young Massachusetts naval veteran named John F. Kennedy got elected to a seat in the House of Representatives. A member of that family has served in the federal government at some level ever since.

        Just when it looked like Sen.     Ted Kennedy’s declining health might leave the U.S. Senate without a Kennedy since 1963, his niece, and JFK’s daughter, emerged recently as a possible choice to replace Hillary Clinton.

  • An important new resource will be in the hands of each county and city government in the Fifth District of Virginia beginning early next year.  Nearly a year ago, I began working with the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County Emergency Communications Center to obtain funding for a new visual intelligence technology resource, pictometry, to all the jurisdictions of the Fifth District, which will greatly benefit first responders and local government agencies in our area.

     

  • The holiday season is well underway: there are lights on our neighbors’ window sills, wreaths hanging from city street lights, children are lining up in local shopping centers for a picture with Santa, and there are shopping lists for family and friends.  This time of year can seem so hectic and can quickly pass us by as we rush from task to task attempting to pack in so much in a short amount of time.  It is often in this hustle and bustle that the true meaning of Christmas is sometimes forgotten or overlooked.  

  • Spreading the sludge

        A rose by any other name is sweet and lovely to behold. Sewage sludge by any other name BioSolids is stench and not lovely to behold.

  • During last year’s budget discussions the Bedford County School Board decided to hire out a facilities study in order to get a comprehensive look at what to expect in construction needs for the school system in the years ahead. At the time several issues were being discussed, including moving eighth graders over to Liberty High School to make room for sixth graders at Bedford Middle School. The hope was that the study could help provide some plausible solutions to the facility needs of the school system, even possibly looking at some “out-of-the-box” possibilities.

  •     Republicans were in disarray at the end of 1974.

        That summer, Richard Nixon became the first U. S. president to resign, avoiding almost certain impeachment and removal from office. Gerald Ford’s pardon, before Nixon was even charged with anything, made matters worse.

        Ford went to his grave swearing that the Nixon pardon was not part of a deal. He even made a video, which was released after his death, denying any deal.

  •     As Barack Obama completes the selection of his staff and Cabinet, there’s been some talk about how many liberals are supposedly angry at him.

    Some have tried to drum up a story that many on the left are upset about one or two Cabinet choices and feel that the president-elect is already backing away from some of the promises of his campaign.

  •             In 2009, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries will receive a 5.8% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).  This means that nearly 55 million Americans will see an increase in their monthly benefits, the largest increase since 1982.  

     

  • Just two months ago the Congress passed the Financial Stabilization Package which was designed to stabilize the growing financial crisis currently facing our country.  This legislation, which I voted against, created the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP, and gave the U.S. Treasury Department broad authority to distribute $700 billion of the taxpayers’ hard earned money with hardly any oversight and no accountability for the irresponsible behavior of the financial institutions that led to this very situation.

  • A great place

    to shop

     

        Bedford is a great place to shop, dine, explore and discover!  If you have not had a chance to experience the holiday events in Centertown Bedford, you better hurry ! 

  •     Mitchell Loyd “Big Country” Simmons, 17, of Chamblissburg, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, Dec. 1, 2008.

        He was a senior at Staunton River High School, was on the baseball team and a member of the F.F.A. He was a member of the Grace Memorial Baptist Church.

  • Frank Chervan, a furniture maker, recently announced it would shut down the majority of its Bedford operations.  It seems that 90 jobs are in jeopardy of going away.

        There will be no federal bailout.  Frank Chervan is not “too big to allow to fail.”

        There will be no testimony (translated:  begging for money) in front of Congress, such as we’ve seen lately, most recently with the Big Three automakers.

  •     I love this time of year because I get to watch Christmas movies  and shows — Elf, the Santa Claus trilogy, Snow, It’s a Wonderful Life, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and A Charlie Brown Christmas, to name a few. The day after Thanksgiving my kids were begging us to watch Elf and it seems like every other day my daughter is coming into the living room proclaiming that one of The Santa Claus movies is on television.