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You are here: Home Opinion Letters to the editor LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Nov. 14


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What’s the rush?

To the editor: 

It has taken the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers years to admit a need to study the growing Hydrilla problem in the John H. Kerr Reservoir that it owns and operates.  

For a time the Corps maintained a “wait and see” attitude on Hydrilla. Kerr Lake Park Watch has been calling for action from the Corps for nearly two years, and now the Corps suddenly has decided to call for an environmental assessment on Hydrilla, an invasive, aquatic weed.

The trick is that all public comment on Hydrilla must be in writing and be in to the Corps by Nov. 26 of this year.  There’s a rush by the Corps in only giving the public a 30-day window for responding to its input invitation.  The 30-day window comes in the middle of an election year, hurricanes and the Thanksgiving holiday.  

After that it is anyone’s guess if the public will have further input in what the Corps does.  

Even in its invitational letter the Corps of Engineers now admits that eradication or elimination of Hydrilla is virtually impossible leaving the lake and lake users of Kerr Lake to attempting to control the weed’s growth.

For a number of years the weed has been spreading from cove to cove and creek to creek.  Last year, a report prepared by scientists at N.C. State University showed the growth and extent of Hydrilla was far wider than previously suspected.

Hydrilla is particularly annoying with regard to boat launching from shore and docks for park users and land owners around Kerr Lake.  It clogs engines.  Some experts say it poses a threat to swimmers. Those aspects have been witnessed and/or experienced first-hand by many campers who are members of Kerr Lake Park Watch. 

More information about Hydrilla on the Kerr Lake Park Watch website is found at

Frank Timberlake

Lead, Public Affairs


Pleasant experience

To the editor:

I want to tell you about a very pleasant experience I had recently.

The Virginia Lions District 24B Mobile Health Unit Committee, Inc. will  begin next year operating a converted transit bus throughout our Lions district to do free vision, hearing and other health screening, coordinated by local Lions clubs.

As in any undertaking of this magnitude, endowment development is an important part of our fundraising. We began a project to send a circular to each of almost 1,200  Lions in the district. This project was extremely time-sensitive.

A member of our committee, due to his connection with a national discount office supply firm, was able to get our printing costs down to about half the normal price. 

As I explored what parts of this project might be done in South Boston, Mickey Thomas of Benton-Thomas Office Products submitted a bid of approximately half of the best bid we had received elsewhere.

We would have been satisfied with that, but the personnel at Benton-Thomas also treated us as if we were their new best friends. The price, the product, the fast delivery, the customer service--all produced a business experience that will have us all talking about it for years to come.

For the future, our shopping strategy has become much simplified.

The other half of the story involves the Postal Service. I’ll skip the usual Postal Service set-up. We live in South Boston. We are served by Postmaster Pat Honeycutt and her people. She patiently walked us through our first mass mailing and made it a pleasant, efficient, flawless process.

This project had all sorts of opportunities for difficulty. People who live customer service greased the skids.

Why would anybody live anywhere else?


Paul M. Steube

Chair, The Virginia Lions District 24BMobile Health Unit Committee, Inc.


Don’t want to be like Rome

To the editor:

I see striking similarities between the old Roman Empire and the United States. 

For many years nobody could even touch the Roman Empire. It was the most powerful empire on the earth. But then it became weak and began to crumble on the inside politically, morally and financially. 

And the Barbaric tribes (Germanic tribes from northern Europe) eventually broke through the gates and took over the Roman Empire. It never regained power again. 

Look what’s happening to our country. We are experiencing political unrest, financial instability and moral decay. Illegal immigrants continue to cross our borders, while                                                                                                                                         others have made it their life’s ambition to destroy our country. 

We need to wake up. We do not want to become like Rome who never regained power again as a powerful empire. 

Paul DuPont