Letters to the Editor for 9/29/08

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Brit says old-time band jams

Your readers may be interested to read that we Brits are being treated to some excellent old-time mountain music courtesy of one of your local bands.

The Whitetop Mountain band from Southwest Virginia have been touring the United Kingdom for a couple of weeks now.

My son and I had the pleasure of opening the show for them last week at the George Hotel in South Molton Devon. This venue was full to capacity to welcome the band to this town.

Later the same week the band played at the Cornish Bluegrass festival in Newquay, Cornwall. I saw firsthand that they were very well received here, indeed.

There is a video featuring the band mixing with the locals on YouTube for anyone who is interested: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mJDRp065cCY

There is much interest in American folk music and bluegrass in this country and having such competent bands visit our shores can only increase our appreciation of this music.

The Whitetop Mountain Band, I'm sure, has many new friends over here, thanks to their wonderful playing and very friendly nature.

They are fine ambassadors for your culture and I, for one, hope we will see them visit these shores again.

Dave Rodgers

North Devon

United Kingdom



McCain's record works against him

The League of Women Voters gave Obama's voting record (U.S. Senate and Illinois legislation) 100 percent, and McCain's record 17 percent.

The National Organization of Women is endorsing Obama for president.

For 25 years, McCain has consistently voted against women's issues. For example, he voted against medically accurate education to teenagers and against reauthorizing of SCHIPS to provide insurance for millions of children from low-income families.

McCain's remarks were cruel and demeaning, such as "Chelsea is ugly because Janet Reno is her father." (Chelsea was 16).

The League of Conservation Voters has endorsed Obama because "his proven record and his commitment to clean renewable energy makes him the best choice for president." They gave McCain's voting record lifetime rating at 24 percent.

Twenty five times in many years, McCain voted against renewable and alternate energy.

The ALF CIO unanimously endorsed Obama because he supported workers’ issues. His lifetime voting record rating is 89 percent. McCain's lifetime is 15 percent.

Steve Smith, ALF CIO media specialist, said "McCain has some appeal to working class voters because they hadn't a chance to learn his policies."

McCain said he "always supports our troops," but he is rated 20 percent by the Disabled Veterans of America (Obama is rated 80 percent), and is rated "D" from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (Obama is rated "B+").

McCain voted "no" on limiting a soldier's deployment, and voted against providing safety equipment for soldiers — helmets, tents, bulletproof safety vests, etc.

He voted against more money for veterans for readjustment counseling, mental illness, and posttraumatic stress, and was one of 13 senators who voted against giving money for the Veteran Medical Centers for outpatient care and treatment.

His jokes — "Bomb, bomb, Iran," giving cigarettes for Iranian soldiers — are not funny coming from a person who wants to be commander in chief.

Do you really think that McCain would be a better president than Obama?

Mary Virginia Woods





Blames smell on farmers spraying

The horrifying smell of chemical particulate matter in the air has been noticeably absent this summer, as was the presence of immigrant laborers, in large groups.

Is this because users of herbicides/pesticides are aware of the presence, in our county, of the Department of Environmental Quality and Immigration Control?

There was an incident a few months ago. One evening I was traveling up U.S. 21 out of Independence. All the car windows were closed yet the stench of chemical smell overpowered me.

The thought was that surely farmers are not spraying at night to avoid detection. And then there is the rumor from residents who have told me that a scent to cover the chemical smell is being used. If anyone has information regarding this please get in touch with me.

We are getting close to pumpkin-gathering time. Be aware that tree farmers in Elk Creek have acknowledged using tree chemicals on their pumpkins.

Roundup Ready Corn is saturated with glyposate, making not only the corn health damaging, but the decorator value of the stalks can create allergic reactions, asthma. Just touching can cause absorption through the skin, as well as via inhalation.

Christmas trees are sprayed before harvesting, which is coming soon. Have your gas masks handy.

Be aware of the dangers of being in among the trees for “cut your own” businesses. Stay away from newly-sprayed fields being prepared with herbicides for more plantings.

It is very sad to have lost the holiday pleasure of the family tree hunt and the excitement of night trips to the pumpkin patch without fear of health contamination.

Write your elected officials about the problems you are observing in your areas and specify your right to choice of no chemical usage.

Theresa Rogers

Elk Creek




Family cemetery change upsetting

What happened to the entrance to Lineberry Cemetery off Hebron Road — the right of way road.

The road was changed and the roadway is around the bottom of the hill. It’s a long narrow road with large rock and gravel washed out, growing up with bushes and badly in need of work.

The change has made my family and I totally devastated. Who had the right to change the roadway?

The gate to the cemetery is still in place without the fence. A house on the hill is using the roadway up to the cemetery. No through way. We could not get up the hill in our vehicle.

We walked up the steep, very rocky road and I could hardly get up the hill.

If interested in this subject, please comment with your opinion.

Rosa B. Jennings

Newport News




New leaders face big challenges

The conventions are over and the political parties have chosen their candidates for vice president and president.

To the voters, it looks like there are two over-the-hill gangs and one is trying to climb the hill and, make way boys for the little lady.

Off to the White House they go. Mud slinging, charges and counter charges, personal attacks and beauty contests thrown into the battle for good measure.

Then, here comes a voice form the past by an ex-president, smearing and degrading a Veteran of War and service to this country, whose name is Sen. John McCain.

Mouth of the South Smiling Jimmy Peanut should keep to building houses, and his mouth shut and nose out of affairs of state.

Right now, the United States is in one big mess.

The economy is dormant, unemployment is way up, people are very worried about keeping a job to pay the bills, keeping their homes and everyday concerns for health care. One cannot afford to get sick.

And, increasing the burden on the taxpayer is the war cost, waste, fraud and corruption in government. And who is doing what, if anything, about it?

I cannot write this letter without commenting on the recent upswing on gas prices — partially blamed on Hurricane Ike which struck Texas and Louisiana, but most of it was greed.

One sees so many waiting in line on a hot day to get fuel just to get around. This state and country is a day late and falls far short in handling emergencies.

Fear not, fellow citizens. Uncle Sam, politicians and a do-nothing Congress is on the case and will take care of it.

Mitchell Robinson