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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Wednesday, Aug. 29

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Really strange

To the editor:

I certainly don’t mind having fundraisers to fight uranium mining, but I really don’t like the Halifax County Board of Supervisors giving $10,000 to do it in next year’s budget.

I never imagined the board of supervisors to be the conscience of all the taxpayers, deciding what is best for our own good, even though the state law does not include lobbying in its approved list of donations to non-profits by local governments.

It’s probably nothing, but it seems really strange that our county government would want to stop the potential for new job growth in this area. 

It kind of reminds me of the Town of South Boston wanting to stop any more than three pawn shops from doing business here. 

If I wanted a job at a mine or to open a pawn shop, I wouldn’t want to have my taxpayer dollars used to stop me.

Dan Shaw



More government giveaways

To the editor:

Recently an article appeared that subtly gave the impression that Century Link was going to provide low-income citizens with phone and Internet service at a reduced rate.  

What they so cleverly neglected to mention, other than saying it was under “federal guidelines” is that you and I, the citizens who have to pay for everything, are also paying for this.  

It is a U.S. Federal Program known as “Lifeline,” and there is an item on your telephone bill every month that you must pay as part of your service.   This is called a “Universal Service Fund.”

No doubt you pay no attention to this cost of less than $1 - but just think of the millions of $1 collected every month.  

When Lifeline was conceived many years ago, it did assist many senior and other low-income people in the cost of their landline home phone expenses.

Today, as so often happens with government programs, it is ballooning beyond control.  Now people on public assistance can get free cell phones and free minutes.  Sure, it’s free to them, but we are paying for it.    

Included now is a reduced cost netbook computer, Internet service and education and technology training.  

Can it really be considered  another one of their “rights” to get something more for free?    Isn’t it amazing? 

In this election year, there must be people in a room somewhere thinking up how many more things they can give away to insure they get votes to keep the gravy train running.  It is becoming extremely difficult to ignore the feeling of being punished by our government for a lifetime of working and saving to provide for ourselves.   

Anita Yard



Shingles should be only for the roofer

To the editor:

Shingles is a painful skin rash, usually associated with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body, often in a stripe. This is because it follows the distribution of a sensation nerve. It generally lasts for two to four weeks, and the pain can be quite severe.  

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, and only someone who has had the chickenpox virus or been exposed to it can get it, since the virus stays in the body for a lifetime. 

The virus can then reappear later as shingles, an illness with very different symptoms from chickenpox.  

You can’t catch shingles from another person with shingles. However, a person who has never had chickenpox could get chickenpox from someone with the shingles.  

Shingles occurs usually only once in a lifetime, and 50 percent of individuals living to age 85 get shingles.  An unfortunate 1 percent of people have two attacks of shingles.  

An antiviral drug treatment can reduce the severity and duration of shingles if a seven to 10-day course of antiviral medicines is started within 72 hours of the appearance of the characteristic shingles rash. 

At least one million people a year in the United States get shingles. If it involves the eye or ear, blindness or deafness can occur.

A vaccine for shingles (Zostavax) was licensed in 2006, and it has been shown that the vaccine can reduce the risk of shingles by 50 percent.  Also, it can reduce the pain in people who still get shingles in spite of having been vaccinated.  

The shingles vaccine is now recommended for adults of age 60 and older.

It is wise to ask your doctor if the shingles vaccine could protect you.

More information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, at 1-888-767-4687, or at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines. 

Cameron A. Gillespie, MD

Board Certified Preventive Medicine

South Boston

Special thanks

To the editor:

Pastor Moses and Linda Dixon send a special thank you to Serita Carter, Sandra Palmer and the Five Forks Baptist Church family. Also, all other churches, businesses, families and friends, for everything that was done for our cancer association program July 14 at 4 p.m. at Five Forks Baptist Church.

God truly blessed our program.

Thank you again.

Linda Y. Dixon,