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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Wednesday, July 18

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Lyme’s Disease: The ticking time bomb

To the editor:

Why is Lyme’s disease more common in 2012? 

In 2010 the climate favored a bountiful harvest of acorns, perhaps a good thing. This led to a population boom in white-footed mice, the preferred host of the black-legged deer tick. 

Ticks feed three times in their lives as larvae, nymphs and adults. So in 2010 larvae prospered on mice.

But this year, the acorn crop was poor, and the mouse population crashed.

Now the more mature large population of nymphs needed to look for a new source of blood meals. Humans do very nicely.

Unfortunately insects that eat blood also carry a number of diseases, among them Lyme’s disease. Lyme’s is caused by a bacterium (genus Borrelia).

Most cases begin in late spring and early summer, and illness becomes apparent by June, July and August. The early reaction is a circular halo or bull’s eye rash around the bite. 

Without the proper antibiotic, fever, headache, muscle pain and stiff neck persists. At this point the illness is severe, and may need intravenous antibiotics.

So, prevention, as in most things, is best. A hat, light cotton long-sleeved shirt and long pants (duct taped shut at the bottom and sprayed with repellant) help. 

Light colored clothes aid in seeing ticks, so they can be removed. Shower when home, to wash off unattached ticks. 

Check your pets as well. Remove ticks not with tweezers or ointment, but with a slotted tick spoon (one type called Ticked-Off can be found on the internet). 

If this is a high risk exposure, start doxycycline within 72 hours.

 Exposure can occur even in the city, near unkept lots and beside buildings where grass has been allowed to overgrow.

 For more information, contact the Virginia Department of Health in Richmond.

Dr. Cameron Gillespie

South Boston

It’s probably nothing

To the editor:

It’s probably nothing, but it sure seems strange that Obama’s Department of Justice Secretary Eric Holder required photo IDs to attend and listen to his speech at the recent NAACP convention. 

In his speech he discussed the Department of Justice’s challenge to the Texas’ voter identification law. ( 

Ryan Haygood of the NAACP Legal and Educational Fund representing black students “who attend Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern University, who previously used the only form of photo ID that they had, the student ID” to vote, said, “Since those IDs are no longer allowed, ‘Texas’s laws are discriminatory.’” 

Haygood’s assertion was malarkey, because to get a student ID at the colleges Haygood mentioned, a student needs to have a photo ID in the first place. (

Here’ another one: “Anyone wishing to attend a book-signing event on June 12 with First Lady Michelle Obama must present an official photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, and give the Secret Service their social security number.” (

And then this: President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign checked the identification of the supporters attending Obama’s “framing” event at Cuyahoga Community College today. (

This is all so puzzling to me because how could there be anything wrong with requiring a photo ID for voting than getting a book signed by the First Lady?

It’s probably nothing.

Dan Shaw



Buckle up

To the editor:

What is wrong with these people who don’t wear their seat belts. They are a safety feature. I know because I was involved in a wreck. 

If I hadn’t had my seat belt on I would have been thrown through the windshield. The air bag came out and hit me in my chest. It bruised me terribly. 

It only takes a minute to fasten up. So my advice is buckle up before you crank up. 

You won’t be sorry. 

Hazel Tuck

South Boston


Penalty insufficient

To the editor:

We are writing in support of last week’s letter about the July 3rd race at South Boston Speedway. 

Trey Crews was wrecked after the caution flag had been thrown for another incident. Since the wreck happened under caution and appeared intentional, Trey should have maintained his position in the number one spot. 

It became clear that the sole purpose of the #3 car was to take out the #09. We feel that the #3 being parked for the last 10 laps of the race was not sufficient enough of a penalty for the actions demonstrated on the racetrack.

If this was retaliation for his disqualification a few weeks ago, he has absolutely no one to blame but himself. 

Thank you for taking the time to listen to our concerns regarding the incident that took place at South Boston Speedway.

Sam and Linda Livingstone


God’s grace

To the editor:

Let me assure Mr. Davis that he need not worry about the questions raised in his letter to the editor July 4. 

Today God works with us according to his grace. While his Word is eternally true, he deals with us differently according to his own purposes. 

The laws quoted from Leviticus were given to the Jews only to confirm the special covenant relationship they had with God. Separation from other nations was of utmost importance if they were to be used by God.

Remember, they had just escaped from Egypt, a nation of idolatry, and were headed to Canaan, a land of idolatry and gross immorality. 

God had no problem getting them out of Egypt, but it took 40 years to get Egypt out of them.

Therefore the penalty for laws broken were necessarily extremely harsh, emphasizing separation in dress, food, farming, worship — everything. 

The result was fourfold:

An awesome fear of God;

• The terrible realization that God’s laws are impossible to keep;

• A savior is needed;

• A foretaste of God’s final judgment for rejecting his Son. 

Thankfully, in due time the Jewish nation gave birth to Jesus. He came to fulfill the law. As God he had no sin, and as man could endure the wrath of a Holy God on our behalf.

We can choose to accept him as our savior and receive forgiveness, or we can live as we please and suffer the awful consequences.

Jean Anderson



VDOT shout out

To the editor:  

The worst of the immediate emergency situation that resulted from the June 30 windstorm is over, and I want to take this opportunity to recognize the employees of VDOT’s Lynchburg District for their outstanding efforts in dealing with the aftermath of this storm.   The Lynchburg District covers the counties of Halifax, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Cumberland, Nelson, Pittsylvania and Prince Edward.   

At the height of destruction, hundreds of roads were impacted by downed trees, debris and utility lines.  Power, including power to traffic signals and communications systems, was out, and it was extremely hot and muggy.  Yet, VDOT employees left their families and homes, gathered their equipment and got to work to get things “back to normal” as quickly as possible.  That meant dealing with safety issues first and getting roads open to other service providers.  

All along they completed this physically demanding work in temperatures hovering near 100 degrees Fahrenheit.    

As of Friday, July 6, only three roads in our 10-county district remained impacted.  Crews have continued to clean up roadsides, trim or remove trees damaged during the storm and repaired signs and signals.  Their efforts have made near normal travel possible once again.  

In addition, I would like to acknowledge the citizens of this area whose patience during our efforts in opening roadways was greatly appreciated.   

The cleanup is not over.  Crews have had to return to deal with additional trees after several more storms, and there is more cleanup work to do.  Once again, “thank you” to the VDOT employees who “Keep Virginia Moving” and to the citizens of this region for their support and understanding.   

 Robert H. Cary 

Lynchburg District Administrator