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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Wednesday, Sept. 12

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Trash fee a necessity

To the editor:

The following comments are concerning the hearing last Tuesday on the $48 trash fee enacted by the Halifax County Solid Waste Disposal Authority. 

Perhaps I did not make my opinions clear, so just to set the record straight: I am not opposed to the fee. 

When the county and then South Boston had to close their landfills, the most viable option appeared to be creating a regional landfill, which is located in Mecklenburg County. Halifax County is the largest user of the regional landfill. Our trash has to be hauled from our transfer station (where the trash goes from the green boxes) to the landfill near Boydton. This fee is expected to generate $500,000 plus to help offset the cost of the program.

My question to the board was related to the inequality of a flat $48 per household, regardless of how many are in that household. Obviously a household of one would generate far less trash than a household of six or eight. 

I recycle everything possible and usually have only one kitchen-sized bag of trash to take to the green box every two weeks. 

If everyone in the county adopted a practice of recycling, we could significantly reduce this cost to the county because there would be far less trash to haul to Boydton. This is a cost that will only keep going up with more trash generated. Careful trash disposal and recycling on our part also would help keep our roadsides cleaner.

I also think the fee adopted is the fairest way of generating the needed money – the people creating the trash - paying what amounts to a user fee. 

If real estate taxes had been raised for the money, only those who owned real estate would have been assessed a higher fee to pay for the trash transfer of everyone. 

I sympathize with the others who spoke Tuesday – I don’t need additional fees any more than anyone else. I’ve been paying Medicare insurance less than a year and just received notice of a 20 percent increase. 

However, the transfer fee is a cost that is a necessity for us all. It amounts to $4 a month. We each would have to spend more than that to make just one trip to Boydton, much less a whole year.

Thank you,

Cheryl Watts


Library consolidation won’t save money

To the editor:

I have been reading in the paper about the consolidation of the Halifax County Library and the South Boston Library and how it would save money that is being paid for salaries and operating expenses.

I use the South Boston library quite frequently, and on almost every occasion that I am there, the parking lot is full. Then, when inside, all the computers are being used by students and adults. There are people sitting around reading books and newspapers.

Children are enjoying whatever is on the agenda for that week.

If the libraries are consolidated, it may not hurt the people who live close to Centerville, but it may cause the people who live in the southern part of the county not to go all the way to Centerville. 

Likewise, people who live in the northern part of the county will not
travel that much farther either. Four or five miles can make quite a bit of difference, especially with the price of gasoline.

Inconvenience is not the main consideration. How much is it going to cost to buy land in that area, which I am sure, would go for a premium price, and how much would it cost to build a new building? It will end up costing several million dollars. That money will go a long way paying salaries and operating expenses for the existing libraries. 

Not only will there be the expense of building another library, but what is going to be done with the existing buildings? They will still have to be kept up until the unlikely event someone comes along to buy them, or will they be sold for the ridiculous prices, as were our school buildings?

Unless another “new math” is being used, I cannot see that we will be saving any money, but that we will be spending money that we don’t have and will be taking away an important service in each of our communities.

Thank you,

Cora Cliborne

South Boston


Living united

To the editor:

On behalf of Misunderstood as well as the youth and parents who may have benefited from the free haircuts given Aug. 13, I would like to personally thank everyone for their contributions in our efforts to help our community.

Thank you to the barbers who donate their time, energy and skills to this cause every year without hesitation including Anthony Clark and Keith Jones, Wayne Ferguson and Van Gray, Shelley Edmunds and Dale Guilt assisted by Angela Payne. 

Thank you to Wendy Ford-Brown for the use of her facility on a very short notice and to the volunteers and members of Misunderstood for spending the entire day with us including Lamont Leigh, Marvin Ballou, Marva Womack, Katera Womack, Christian Coleman, Willie Maddox, Garrett Miller, Tyrell Chandler, Terry Chandler and Tremaine Chandler.

Snacks and refreshments were provided by Anthony Logan and Shea Chism, chairs for waiting area were provided by Willie Martin, Marvin Ballou, Letha Coleman, Thelma Toone and the Rev. Kevin Chandler donated school supplies and informative literature, Terrance Ragsdale donated samples of premium glycerin soap, lunch for everyone was provided by the Rev. Kevin Chandler and dinner was provided for the barbers and volunteers. 

Anthony Womack

Misunderstood Director

Congratulations Rails-to-Trails

To the editor:

It was terrific to read recently of the opening of a new section of the Tobacco Heritage Trail in South Boston, an important step toward what will eventually be an impressive rail-trail network throughout southern Virginia.

From us here at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, congratulations to Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails, and everyone involved in planning and building this tremendous public recreation and transportation asset. 

Though Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a national organization, we consistently see that successful rail-trail projects depend on strong local leaders and committed residents and businesspeople. It looks like Halifax County has its fair share of those. 

Your commitment to building options for walking and biking throughout the region will benefit the community for decades to come.

Rail-trail projects like this one bring a vast array of benefits to communities large and small. Trails are, most obviously, fantastic venues for recreation. 

Whether it’s a long stretch of jogging track or a quiet and safe place for a leisurely walk with friends, over the years the value of a multi-use community space separated from cars and traffic will far outweigh its initial cost.

Recycling a space which was underutilized will increase walking and biking in the area, whether for practical trips or for leisure and exercise. The health benefits that result from such activity are well documented. Doctors prescribe regular short walks or rides as effective preventative treatments of arthritis, dementia and Alzheimer’s, obesity related illnesses and depression, to name but a few.

But rail-trails also play a crucial role in strengthening the local economy. Small businesses in growing communities are capitalizing on their location next to trails. 

Options for walking and biking also boost the local real estate market. Research by the National Association of Homebuilders finds that trails are consistently the number one amenity desired by potential new homebuyers. During this historic downturn in the housing market, neighborhoods within walking distance of a trail consistently record better real estate sales data than neighborhoods without access to a trail.

The construction of future sections of the Tobacco Heritage Trail is dependent on whether Virginia’s state and local leaders and transportation officials are committed to funding better transportation and recreation options. 

Your insistence that they continue to support and access federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) and Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funding for projects like this will determine whether this bright future is realized.

Anyone interested in resources about funding, building and maintaining rail-trails, or learning about rail-trail projects across America, is encouraged to get in touch with myself or any of our experienced staff.

All the very best, and again, congratulations,

Jake Lynch 


Washington, D.C. 


Pray, vote, pray

To the editor:

Neither the Democratic or Republican conventions did much of anything to create a bounce in the race for the White House as many people thought. It is still in a dead heat. 

Many people who voted for President Obama in the last election are undecided and are not willing to vote for Governor Mitt Romney yet in the upcoming election. 

What are voters supposed to do? 

In my opinion people need to really think hard and pray about the election. We’re living in real critical times. Everything in this country is riding on this election. 

Pray. Vote. Pray. 

Paul Dupont


Haven’t forgotten

To the editor:

With the election less than two months away, we will begin to see and hear a great deal from those seeking to influence how we might vote. No doubt there will be a deluge of mailers, radio and television advertisements and telephone calls. Many will contain half-truths, distortions or outright lies about issues and candidates.

And, there will be many solemn promises regarding what the office seeker will do for us or our country if elected. I know the drill all too well, having been a participant in national elections for well over 50 years.

Each voter will cope with this political process in his or her own way. However, the following is the approach I will follow: 

First, all campaign material will be discarded-unopened and unread. 

Second, I will not listen to my radio. 

Third, I will watch only television devoid of political advertising or political commentary.

Fourth, telephone calls from candidates or political supporters will go unanswered or be ignored.

While this approach may seem extreme, for this election cycle I believe it is right for me. I commend it to others who care more about the future of our country than whether a candidate represents a particular party, ethnicity, income level or pressure group. 

You see, before the 2010 election cycle I informed President Obama and those representing me in Congress that I would never again vote for anyone who was in any way responsible for helping to enact the legislation known as the “Affordable Care Act” (better known as “Obamacare”). 

While some voters may have forgotten how Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used outrageous pressure tactics and dubious parliamentary maneuvers to help President Obama push through this massive legislation, I have not. 

And, while other actions and inactions by President Obama have sorely disappointed and angered me throughout his first term, enactment of “Obamacare” over the objections of the great majority of American voters is more than enough to convince me he does not deserve a second term as President of the United States. 

Likewise, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine will not receive my vote for U.S. Senate. He supported President Obama and other Democrats responsible for “Obamacare” when most Virginians opposed it. 

I cannot abide public officials who defy the expressed will of the great majority of the voting public while making policy decisions that will have an enormous long-term impact on the life and personal freedom of every person.

I encourage voters to help send the message that the voice of “we the people” is not to be disregarded by elected officials. The best way I can see to do this is to vote for Mitt Romney for president, Paul Ryan for vice-president, George Allen for U.S. Senate, and Robert Hurt for U.S. House of Representatives. 

I have made a careful review of the personal character and qualifications of these candidates and concluded each is the best candidate for the office he seeks. Nothing any of the other candidates or their supporters might say in the days before the Nov. 6, 2012 election could persuade me otherwise. 

Certainly nothing former President Bill Clinton has said or may say will ever persuade me to cast a vote for (or against) any candidate seeking public office; his lack of credibility was well demonstrated during his own presidency.


Robert R. Meeks

South Boston


Appeal for help

To the editor:

The Halifax County Humane Society continues in its mission to help the stray and homeless animals of Halifax County. We continue to find permanent homes for as many as possible, and try to get the word out as to the vital importance of spaying/neutering as the primary method of reducing the thousands of these animals in the county.

The good news is that we are way ahead so far this year in the number of animals we have dealt with. In 2011 we dealt with a total of 469 animals, an average of 39 a month. The first seven months of 2012 we have averaged 50.4 animals a month. 

Unfortunately this means we are experiencing higher costs to keep up this level of success. Our largest expenses are veterinary care, (including spaying and neutering), gas (especially for dogs who are transported out of county), puppy and kitten chow, and other foster home needs (kennels, crates, fencing, bedding, flea and tick control, etc.) Vet bills alone in the spring and summer months run from $2,200 - $2,900 a month.

Unfortunately, our expenses are out-pacing our revenue. Our donations are down due to the overall economy and the lack of fundraising opportunities, we have in the hotter months. We truly appreciate all who continue to help us monthly, quarterly, or yearly, or when they are able. All donations, regardless of amount, are important. You’d be surprised what a lift we get from our supporters who send $10-$12 each month – this lets us know they are committed to sending what they can to support the cause. Others might donate the same $120-$144 with a once a year donation. We are also very appreciative of those who are able to give in larger amounts to sustain our work. All of the above and many others also support our fundraisers – stews, bake sales, raffles, yard sales, product sales, etc.

If you haven’t helped in a while, or are thinking about becoming a supporter, there couldn’t be a better time than right now. We are greatly in need of funds. We will be forced to significantly reduce the number of animals we are taking in without some additional funds. 

If you are able to help, send donations in any amount to Halifax County Humane Society, P.O. Box 969, South Boston, VA 24592. 

To find general information about us, you can call our toll-free line 1-866-553-7365.

We are a totally volunteer organization (501 C). Your contributions are tax-deductible. We are very willing to continue the work, with your help. We do not receive government funds. 

Our next big fundraiser will be Oct. 13 for our fall festival at Molliver’s Vineyard. Join us for a day of fun. Watch the newspapers for more information.

Thank you,

Linda Mercer

Halifax County
Humane Society

Tear this park down

To the editor:

Once again the subject is Grove Avenue Park.

The concerned citizens of this area presented our town manager with a petition signed by approximately 75 residents approximately two years ago.

To date nothing has been done to solve this problem. The people using the park continue to yell, curse, play loud music, block the road, use the shelter as a dancehall, love nest and who knows what else.

We still have to call the police for disturbing the peace almost daily.

To semi-quote one of our presidents, “Mr. Manager” tear this park down. Stop using our tax dollars to disrupt our lives.

For the concerned citizens of Grove Avenue Park area,

Wayne Crews

South Boston


Four more years

To the editor:

The Republican Party has recently held its national convention to nominate Governor Mitt Romney as its candidate to run for president.

As we all know, their criticism was against the Obama administration. They criticized President Obama on jobs, the economy and his foreign policy. 

They are incorrect to launch such a huge barrage of attack on President Obama.

He inherited the worst economic situation since the great depression. In the 1930s banks were going under. 

When President Obama was elected, the auto industry was in a crisis, many people were losing their homes, and the stock market plunged.

The Obama administration put forth much legislation to help stabilize the economic crisis. 

Most of the Republicans opposed it, despite the economy being on the rebound and the auto industry making profit. 

The stock market is up, and more jobs are being created each month. 

We still have a long way to go.

It took the Bush Administration eight years to get us into this economic decline, and it will take the Obama Administration eight years to get us out.

John Woody

South Boston


Hard work is a virtue

To the editor:

This past Saturday morning I was watching CNN as I prepared to go to work at the hospital here in South Boston. They were reporting on the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. that started last week. They talked to various people about what was expected at the convention, and then the reporter took a turn in her dialogue. 

Focusing on one of the event planners she stated that there was grumbling amongst delegates that were attending. The major issue that the delegates had was that it was being held in Charlotte because it was a second tier city without the activities outside of the convention that the delegates felt that they deserved.  The planner spoke well of his city while trying to sell it as a good venue for the convention. 

Leaving this issue of what is a second tier city aside, this interchange spoke volumes about the differences between parties although it took only a minute or two. 

I, myself, am slightly right of the center in philosophy and don’t think that either party has all of the answers, nor do they represent even close to as many people that the parties think that they do. 

The complaint itself seems to reveal more about conflicting ideologies between parties than all of the mailers, commercials that already flood the airwaves or speeches that will be heard during the days of conventions that were and will be held.  Republicans in their convention spoke repetitively about somebody who worked long hours and opened a business to get a better life. True to the dogma, harder work is what the Republicans state is needed. 

If you are struggling as an individual, hard work is the answer. Conversely the Democrat leaders seem to complain that either the incorrect thing or not enough of something was given to them, and what was given did not meet their perceived needs. 

True to the dogma if you are struggling as an individual, somebody is holding you back, and that block needs to be eliminated. Usually the elimination of a block in your way is done by government involvement either through laws, courts or other ways. Both philosophies have correct places in different arenas and have benefited people for generations.

So in looking at the election ahead, if uncertain of a specific candidate and a party affiliation is all you have to judge by, remember what the real difference in focus is. 

Does the party ask that you work harder to help yourself and by so doing help the community from the inside out. Or does it try to help you more by moving barriers so the community grows from the outside in. 

Also consider which plan will benefit the community at large in best long term way. For my part I agree with working harder for myself. I don’t think that relying on someone or something else to care for me is a reliable or legitimate long-term plan. 

I also don’t think that anyone can take care of me as well as I can. I am also a weird one who thinks that hard work is a virtue for each individual. 

Grant Merrill

South Boston