Letters — Fourth of July 2012

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Open invitation

    I would like to take this opportunity to invite Bedford City and County law enforcement to join me for a grandstand view on the Bedford Speedway.
    The Speedway runs the length of Oakwood Street. You may join me at any time, night or day, in my driveway at 1709 Oakwood St.   From my view most vehicles are beginning to reach top speeds as they cross over the knoll near the City/County line. 
    Be prepared for anything, as elderly people hobble across the street to retrieve their mail just as the speedsters are topping the knoll.  As at any speedway, it is entirely possible that you will, one day, witness a fatality.  The speedsters are teenagers, young men and women, in their sports cars, as well as older men in their club cab pickups, and yes mothers taking their kids to school in the family mini-van. It is a show all day long. From my driveway, I can show you one home where law enforcement could pass out big speedway prizes, all day, every day.  They are not hard to find.
    I am shocked that law enforcement, especially in the county, has not taken any opportunity to enforce speedway rules, (25 mph).  Perhaps one of the big signs flashing 25 mph, or at least a yellow caution flag, should be placed as a speedway participant nears the knoll or another danger zone.
    I would suggest, at the very least, law enforcement bears some of the responsibility in the event of a fatality because I know complaints have been voiced. I am sure that the speedway participants are very nice people who are just not thinking.  I also suggest that if any participant is a teenager, parents should take the keys.
    If your neighborhood has a speedway, perhaps you should send law enforcement an invitation via this newspaper.  The only phone number they list is 911.  Maybe they don’t want to know until the fatality has happened.
    You know, there is a reason the speed limit is 25 mph in residential areas.

Karen Cobbs

Corrected vote

    Regarding the Bedford County Planning Commission meeting held the evening of Monday, June 18, I understand Mr. Huff learned his vote from last week was wrongly recorded so this week he corrected the minutes of the last meeting to state Mr. Huff did in fact vote to keep By-Law 4.5 intact, meaning he votes that all planning commission members must take the planning and zoning courses and be certified accordingly. His vote prevented the “hooky players” from throwing out the schooling mandate for newcomers to the planning commission.
    Mr. Huff has already attended several classes and is scheduled to be certified by [the end of] August. His corrected vote now assures Bedford county planning commissioners will be trained and equipped with the knowledge necessary to manage our future in Bedford County. Hurrah for Mr. Huff. He confirmed on record as voting for training, expertise and wisdom gained from those teaching as experts in zoning and planning — those who have walked this path before. A planning/zoning stumble from ignorance can cost all of us Bedford County taxpayers many thousands of poorly planned dollars. Huff has safeguarded us all. I thank him.
    Now the Board of Supervisors needs to clean the air. Planning Commission appointees who for whatever reason are not able or inclined to approach the serious work of being a planning commissioner with the proper education and gained expertise from experts in the field should be allowed to reconsider and resign, or they should be removed.
    New appointees should come from a citizen/board process where willing and able candidates are carefully vetted for qualifications and ability to learn the job — enough with one shot supervisor choices. This is our county’s future we are talking about. Planning and zoning is a lot like flying. Done wrong, it can be disastrous. Done right and everyone benefits.
    The passengers, Bedford County citizens, are entitled to the best skilled and talented persons to put in the navigator’s seats. The pilots — the Board — are only as good as their navigators. Let us all keep that in mind.

John E. Lane III
Bedford County property owner


    Alongside the goofy Donald Trump, Romney said he’d like to see a Constitutional requirement that the President have three years of business experience.  Well, so much for Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Lincoln, Ike, Reagan and JFK.  Although HST was a great President, he was a failed businessman as was Grant.  Bush II, whose sweetheart deal with the Texas Rangers made him a multi- millionaire, was among our worst Presidents.  Hoover had business experience but had a failed presidency.  Well so much for business experience.  No successful President ever had much.
    So what of Romney’s business experience that he touts so highly?  His rescue of the Salt Lake City Olympic games was essentially a Federal Government bailout.  A trip to Congress doesn’t count much as business experience.  His one trip into government as MA Governor didn’t produce much in the way of jobs—only 24,400 over four years.  MA was 47th of 50 States in job creation during his four years—some record.  Glen Kessler, fact checker, gave Romney “three Pinocchio’s” for his claim of 100,000 new jobs while at Bain.  If you use Romney’s methodology, Obama has produced over 4.25 million jobs since 2010.
     At Bain Capital, Romney practiced a very Darwinian form of capitalism.  His opponents, Perry and Gingrich, rightly called it “vulture capitalism.”  Actually, enriching a handful of shareholders has little to do with job creation.  Besides how can his history of exploiting hidden legal loopholes to transfer wealth to himself and his fat cat buddies ever be considered a successful business record?
     All his vaunted “business experience” produced a 34% approval rating in his last year as MA Governor ranking him an unpopular 48th out of 50.  The non business experienced Clinton created 23 million jobs (more than Reagan) even though he raised so called “job killing” taxes on the rich.
     The evidence for business experience as a prerequisite for the presidency is totally lacking.  As Obama says, Presidential related experience is not about maximizing profits, but how everybody gets a fair share.  Wouldn’t it be an improvement if the 99 percent could advance just half as much as the 1 percent.
David McLoughlin

    Growing up in a church going family I learned about doing good, having morals and things like that, but I did not “get” what it is really about, did not understand a lot of it (not that I really tried to…), or see where it had any significance to my life.  Only after living a “typical” modern lifestyle (born in “66), “social partying”, a “normal” marriage which ended with divorce, along with other poor choices which caused pain and suffering in my life and lives around me, did I return to “church” to seek help in my life.
    I am not educated in Theology or such, but I have spent the last 8 years really trying to read the Bible, studying the Scriptures, praying for understanding. Only after you can see the entire story and picture God has laid out in the Bible, does it really start to make sense. Deut. 6:7-9 Tells us to teach God’s Words diligently to our children, talk of them when we sit, walk, lie down and rise up, we should write them on our doorposts and gates. This way we and our children will come to know and understand God’s Word and grow close to Jehovah, our God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Knowing the Scriptures for ourselves enables us to distinguish the false doctrines and teachings of those who are led by the sway of the wicked one who has come down with great wrath to deceive us.
    I encourage each person to take the time and effort to read, study, and learn the Bible with an open heart before rejecting it, because accepting or rejecting the Truth will have everlasting consequences.

Gary Proffitt

Ignoring the rule of law

    On June 25, the 50th anniversary of the removal of God from schools, America continues to experience the result of ignoring the rule of law.  A unanimous Supreme Court concluded that Arizona has the right to ask for documentation from anyone after he/she has been stopped and/or arrested for a particular offense.
    Apparently, the Supreme Court does not have any say or sway over this current administration’s agenda.  Homeland Security declared it will no longer collaborate or support Arizona in enforcing the law as handed down by the Supreme Court.  If this action by this administration is anything less than treason, please correct my delusion.
    In addition, this administration is providing an 800 hotline so that any infraction of the Arizona police or any other police department can be reported, frivolous or otherwise.
    The American rule of law, our Constitution, is being trampled upon by an administration who took an oath to uphold it - Fast and Furious, non-defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, and not prosecuting 2 New Black Panther members who purposely intimidated white voters in Philadelphia during the presidential election of 2008.
    It has been 50 years since beginning the removal of the biblical God from this culture.  With God removed, the void is now filled by a governmental god.  This government idol is now changing the foundational truths of the Constitution, not for the improvement of We, the People, but for power and control.
    Thomas Jefferson said it best. “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.”  God judges nations by the actions of its leaders and if there is not a corrective change soon, judgment from a righteous God is inevitable.
Travis Witt

Democracy or aristocracy?

    On June 26, Virginia 5th District Representative Robert Hurt published a letter entitled “Preserving The American Way.” Hurt wrote that, “(O)ur Founders established a system of limited government with unlimited opportunity,” and the facts show that limiting democracy does give unlimited opportunity, but only to corporate selfishness and Wall Street greed.
    In the 1930s our government did three things that gave Americans nearly 50 years of shared prosperity: 1) Created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to guarantee the commercial banks where the middle class used to keep their retirement savings, 2) Outlawed commercial banks from gambling on high risk investments, and 3) Created the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to police the finance industry. This is not limited government, this is responsible government, and it works! It works until irresponsible deregulation limits the power of democracy.
    Our first warning that limiting democracy means less middle class prosperity was the collapse of the Savings and Loan Industry in the 1980s, rescued by a bail out with taxpayer dollars. Despite that warning, the sabotage of those three important economic protections continued, because it gave unlimited opportunity to a few. By the 1990s we were in a bubble economy of boom and bust that America had not seen since before the Great Depression. A few got ungodly rich, but by 2008 we had our biggest bust since 1929, and another taxpayer funded bailout.
    Hurt falsely claims our national debt came from an expanding federal government, but our debt really came from the deregulation that allowed Wall Street greed to crash our economy, along with the huge cost of two poorly managed wars. Hurt also claims our national debt causes unemployment, but he is ignoring the decades of corporate outsourcing of American jobs to foreign countries and the greedy CEOs who are busy making themselves the new aristocracy.
    The new aristocracy is aggressively attacking our democracy and Robert Hurt is helping them. General John Douglass is for keeping our democracy strong and creating economic opportunity for all Americans. Which side are you on: Hurt and aristocracy, or Douglass and democracy?

Eric Mosley

Thanks to

    On behalf of Bedford County Public Schools, I’m writing to express gratitude to area businesses that helped make this year’s Teacher of the Year program a success. This program rewards our top educators each year, and would be impossible without the support we’re provided each year from business owners throughout the community. I write to say thank you to those that gave despite the current state of the economy, and I encourage area residents to thank these businesses for supporting our teachers in Bedford County.
    They are:  Sam Moore Furniture, R & R Recycling, Forest Dental Center, Arthur’s Jewelry, L.R. Robey-Aflac, Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center, Cintas Corporation, Hendricksen Dentistry, Longwood Florist, Ferguson Enterprises, Delegate Lacey E. Putney, Word of Life Evangelical Church, Bedford Moose Lodge 1897, Bank of Fincastle, Johnson’s Orchards, Carter’s Carpet Shop, Little Town Players, ServPro , 297 Minute Market, Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory, Bedford Medical, Inc. , Bank of the James, National D-Day Memorial Foundation, Bedford Memorial Gift Shop – “Tickled Pink”, Blossman Propane, Gas and Appliance, Wharton Foundation’s Bower Center for the Arts, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Bedford County Office of Economic Development, Bacon Enterprises – Kentucky Fried Chicken, Bedford Museum and Genealogical Library, Tuck Chiropractic Clinic – Dr. A.J. LaBarbera, The New London House, Liberty Station, Masonry Mart , Gary’s Garden Center , Central Virginia Federal Credit Union, First Citizen’s Bank, Divine Designs of Bedford , Retail Merchants Association of Lynchburg, Emerson Creek Pottery, Virginia Dare Cruises and Marina, The Sedalia Center, Taco Bell/Long John Silvers of Bedford and Forest, GFWC Bedford Woman’s Club, Bull’s Steakhouse, New London Massage Therapy, Inc. , Watts Petroleum Corp. , Bedford Area Educational Foundation
    Congratulations to all Teachers of the Year, which include Kristen Cunningham – Staunton River High School - 2013 Bedford County Teacher of the Year finalist, Kristina Karnes – Staunton River Middle School -  2013 Bedford County Teacher of the Year finalist, and David Webb – Jefferson Forest High School - 2013 Bedford County Teacher of the Year. Because of the generosity of the aforementioned businesses, these teachers each received a share of the donations, which this year equaled more than $10,000.

Ryan Edwards
Public Relations/Community Outreach Coordinator
Bedford County Public Schools

Thanks to
    Thank you for your support
    On behalf of New London Emergency Services and Sims Farm & Lumber, we would like to thank all the sponsors, volunteers and attendees for their ongoing support of the 6th Annual Truck and Tractor Pull held on June 2 in Forest, VA. Without this support, it would be impossible to make this a successful event.
    We appreciate everyone’s support and look forward to seeing you next year.

Jessie Callahan, Chairman, New London Emergency Services
Ed Sims, Owner, Sims Farm & Lumber