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Letters to the Editor for 2/23/09

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Say no to Medicaid funding cut

More than 62 percent of residents of Virginia’s nursing homes are sponsored by Medicaid.

Most Medicaid recipients in nursing homes were productive citizens, teachers, policemen, farmers, etc., who simply have outlived their savings.

In caring for them last year, Virginia’s long-term care facilities lost $78 million. Now Gov. Kaine recommends that the General Assembly reduce funding for Medicaid by another $40 million.

We want to be the safety net that cares for Virginia’s sick, elderly and disabled, but we must provide real-world competitive wages and pay our bills. We’re having a tough time making ends meet.

Virginia’s 270 nursing homes have a big impact on the state’s economy. We employ more than 30,000 Virginians who work in nearly every county, with a payroll of $1.2 billion. My own facility employs 155 people. We buy goods and services in our communities, and we support charitable activities.

But we can’t go on like this, with more cuts in funding and higher operating costs. Help us care for the elderly by telling our state legislators that enough is enough.

James R. Wooddell, Administrator

Waddell Nursing & Rehab Center

Galax

Reavis' statements were misleading

At a time when the country faces the most severe economic problems we have confronted since the Great Depression, there is a national determination to put aside partisanship and cooperate in the overriding interest to put the nation back on course.

Contrary to that spirit, Ted Reavis of Fancy Gap has launched a purely partisan attack in your newspaper and others against Rep. Rick Boucher and President Obama.

His partisanship is revealed by his history of financial contributions to Republican candidates for elected office (information that is easily found online), and it is clear that he is acting only out of political motivation and not in the larger interests of the nation.

To make matters even worse, Reavis is misstating facts and misleading readers. He holds Rep. Boucher responsible for the recent increase in electric rates, when the federal government has no control at all over the matter. Electric rate increases are solely determined by the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

He claims Boucher receives travel benefits from special interest groups, another untruth. As an acknowledged leader in Congress in areas such as energy, global warming and telecommunications, our congressman is often invited to speak to groups based on his extensive expertise and leadership in these areas.

Travel expenses for such congressmen are frequently paid for by foundations and non-profits that are working for the common good, and this was the case for the travel to which Reavis refers.

If his goal in life is to have his views published on editorial pages, perhaps Mr. Reavis will in the future try to stick to the truth and stow the partisan rhetoric.

No one really cares about partisan attacks just months after an historic national election. Our focus needs to be on working across party lines to benefit the nation.

Carol Broderson

Independence

It's just a game, so let kids play

Another season of basketball has come and gone for the Carroll County Hotrods, and once again we paid to watch some of our kids sit on the sidelines while other kids played most of the games.

We all pay the same, yet coaches gave some of the kids special treatment.

I watched some of our kids beg to be put in, but were not. This is not teamwork. This is hurting the kids that love the game, because adults want to show favoritism.

If it means paying more money to see our kids smile, I will pay it.

Let all the kids play. It’s only a game.

Charles Youngblood

Galax

Stimulus contains too much pork

The recently passed $789 billion stimulus and tax relief bill to breathe life into a dead economy is a start, but there is a long difficult path ahead.

It is clear there is a lot of pork, waste and wishful thinking in the bill.

At most, 70 percent of this is good for helping the unemployment funds of states in dealing with social ills and defects. Also in assuring protection, security and safety of the public by law enforcement and firefighters.

The 111th session of Congress seems to be reliving the past and stumbling its way forward. Let them keep dreaming.

One item in the bill was $30 million to protect a rat. Some in Congress have not one ounce of common sense.

To the people out there pounding the pavement every day looking for work, the homeless, and those served by food pantries, all could be helped 10-fold by all the waste that continues in government.

American people continue to suffer, hurt, worry and wonder what the next day may bring. The poor and the rich are in the same boat.

How true that the Holy Bible is coming to pass to the eyes and heart of one’s soul. Days of the good life, living, drinking and being merry are replaced by trouble, division, sorry, wars, houses empty and cannot buy or sell.

The American spirit, dream and will can not be bought or given away. This country spilled its blood, sweat and tears to survive and be a great nation that is respected by the world.

A nation could be blessed or cursed. Lord, let us turn to Thee with a sincere heart in these times of trouble and tribulation.

Mitchell Robinson

Galax

Faith doesn't require evidence

This past week across the land, some were debating the issue of creation versus Darwin’s theory of evolution, since it’s Darwin’s birthday.

Actually there’s nothing to debate. Either you’re in darkness, or you’re in the light. Simple as that. No in between.

You see, believers in God did not become such because some “dream team” of genius scientists or modern day thinkers spent their life putting together a body of evidence filled with undeniable and overwhelming proofs that support creationism.

Because there’s not enough evidence or proof in 10,000 worlds to make one believer.

Because becoming a believer in God (and hence creationism), is simply an “act of God.” Better known as “grace,” which is divine influence on the heart and its effect on a person’s life.

Best described by a blind man in the Bible whom Jesus healed. And when pressed by unbelievers to “explain,” he broke it down into simple layman’s terms. He said, “one thing I know, whereas I was blind, now I see.”

You know, the light is on, or the light is off. And God has the switch.

Lonnie Malcomb

Hillsville

Government spending adds up

I found an article in my folder that I wrote to a New York editorial many years ago.

It talks about budget deficit and how we throw the millions and billions and trillions around like nobody’s business.

You know, sooner or later, a trillion here and a billion there, it’s going to add up to money. Someone wrote this a long time ago and it made an impact on me.

How much is five trillion? If you had one trillion and spent one million a day for 365 million a year, it would take almost 3,000 years to spend the 1 trillion. Now multiply that by five.

We are in a mess.

Therese Sapone

Galax