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Thankful for cancer association support

To the editor:

I would like to thank Halifax County Cancer Association for their support since April of 2011 when I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  

When I was first diagnosed, I could not believe it.  I had never been sick in my life or taken medication for anything.  This has been life changing. A neighbor and good friend got me into the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  They have a great team of doctors and nurses who I feel comfortable around.  I have not been able to work.  The costs of chemotherapy and radiation treatments are unbelievable. I could go on and on.  

My wife knew Julie Dunavant was president of the Halifax County Cancer Association, so we called her.  She put us in touch with Sharon Blosser, director of Patient Services for Halifax County Cancer Association.  

Halifax County Cancer Association provides gas vouchers for every trip to UNC. They pay $100 a month on my cancer drugs, and when I could not eat, they provided me with a case of Ensure every month.  

Words cannot say how much this has helped.  I am still receiving chemotherapy treatments today, and Halifax County Cancer Association is there for me every time. 

God willing, I will win this fight with the support of my family and good friends. 

For more information on Halifax County Cancer Association, call 434-476-2714 or visit www.hccahope.org

Best regards,

Kenneth Driskill



Cancer fight continues 

To the editor:

The fight against cancer goes on in Halifax County.  Hardly anyone can say they don’t have a friend or relative who is battling this terrible disease. 

The Halifax County Cancer Association was founded in 1957 and is an independent, non-profit organization providing education and direct services to Halifax County residents battling cancer.  

The Halifax County Cancer Association is designed to take some of the financial burden from families experiencing the effects of cancer.  Each week of 2012 financial assistance has been given in the form of cancer related medications, medical supplies, gas vouchers, early detection programs, home care, love, prayers and much more. 

Halifax County Cancer Association services are funded and paid for by memorial and private tax-deductible contributions and fund-raising organized by individuals in our community and the Halifax County Cancer Association.  

All money stays in Halifax County to provide services to cancer patients. 

As the Christmas season and the end of 2012 approaches, you can support those in Halifax County battling cancer into 2013 by making a tax-deductible contribution to Halifax County Cancer Association.  Donations can be made in honor or memory of someone.  

Please mail your tax-deductible donation to Halifax County Cancer Association P.O. Box 1891 Halifax, VA 24558.  

If you or someone you know is in need of services from Halifax County Cancer Association, please call 434-476-2714. 

Sharon Blosser

Director of Patient Services

Halifax County
Cancer Association


Holiday cheer

To the editor:

We were among the many parents, grandparents and friends who shared the magical program at Clays Mill Elementary School recently. The faculty, staff, Dr. Duncan and students hosted a truly holiday event.

Our vision was especially drawn to the wonderful art creations and decorations throughout the school. 

A very loud applause to the ingenuity of the creators for their time, effort, and most importantly, the expression of caring and love for the students at Clays Mill.

May the peace and beauty remain with us all the Christmas season. 

Rachael and Francis Howard



Holiday Living Show support appreciated

To the editor:

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The Business Women of Halifax County organization is grateful for your support of the Holiday Living Show held on Nov. 10-11.  

The Business Women of Halifax County want you to know how very important your promotion and support of this event is in making it a successful event for us.  

We received so many comments on the article in the Friday, Nov. 9, Gazette-Virginian.  What an excellent job Danielle did.  Once again we appreciate all you do to help by printing the information on each vendor’s wares. We had customers enter the school asking where the one we had listed was located.  

This is our only money-making project for scholarships for local students.  We are proud through the support of this community to have given over $200,000 to local recipients to further their education.  

The winner of the 50/50 drawing was Bob Duffer from South Boston.   

We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.


Virginia Cumbey

Publicity Chairman-Business Women of Halifax County


Thanks for getting up leaves

To the editor:

I would like to give a thanks to the Town of South Boston public workers who have the task of picking up Mother Nature’s trash, aka leaves, for the town.

Thank you,

Charles Tidwell

South Boston

Questions and suggestions

To the editor:

I am very disappointed with the Halifax County School Board. After apparent progress towards openness, candor and responsiveness with your constituents, the door seems to have slammed shut again. 

Initially, you would not answer my questions because of “Roberts Rules of Order.” Now I am told that you will not answer due to a possible pending lawsuit regarding the Local Optional Retirement Plant (LORP). 

My questions are not about LORP. The lack of response seems to suggest that you may be hiding something, and I,for one, don’t like having these suspicions.

I again ask my questions of the Halifax County Public Schools School Board and request a response:

1. Isn’t it appropriate to modify and fund all budget variances before making expenditures and/or taking actions? If not, why not?

2. What are both the school administration’s and school board’s responsibilities with regards to operating within the approved budget?

3. When can we citizens and taxpayers of Halifax County expect to see a properly modified 2012-13 Halifax County Public Schools budget?

It bothers me that you’re apparently making, measuring and reporting expenditures against an unpublished phantom budget. And we’re only months away from having to have an approved budget for the 2013-14 school year, aren’t we?


Vacation Policy

It seems to me that employees who remain on the job rather than taking vacation or other time off are to be congratulated, appreciated and rewarded. Therefore, the proposed changes to the 12-month employee vacation policy don’t make sense to me:

1. When an employee is hired, you make the commitment to compensate them and provide them with some agreed-to benefits.

2. These benefits have a known cost and are (or should be) included in the annual budget.

3. They should be paid for as they occur or the funds for them set aside in an “accrual” account to pay for them when they do occur (even years later). You do this with other expenses such as “capital improvements.”

4. If the above process is followed, there is no need to limit the number of days that can be accumulated and paid for at a later date.

And, if the goal is to reduce the cost of vacation pay, consider establishing a policy where employees could “sell” their vacation days back at a reduced rate. This could be used as a “Christmas bonus,” “vacation bonus,” etc. Believe me, the employees would love it. Mine did when I implemented this approach in the several businesses I ran over the years. It dramatically reduced absenteeism, lowered expenses and increased morale. It is truly a “win-win.” And this approach also can be applied to sick leave and personal days.

Or I have another “tongue-in-cheek” solution to your vacation policy situation. You’ve successfully used this approach in the past and established the precedent. Obviously, the vacation program is “collapsing under its own weight.” You can dramatically reduce or even

eliminate this expense by following this simple two-step process:

1. Vote to change your previously established policy.

2. Vote to “terminate” vacations and/or vacation pay.

Problem solved. And this same approach can be used for sick leave and “personal days” saving a great deal of money there also. I call it “LORPing.” Obviously, I’m not serious. But there is a message there. Think about it.

Thanks for your time and attention. I’m looking forward to hearing your response to my questions.

I wish each of you the merriest of holiday seasons and a happy and prosperous 2013.

Dave Strom

South Boston


Thanks for four more years forward

To all the “grassroots supporters” who made telephone calls, pounded the pavement to knock on doors, volunteered your time and services in many ways and made people aware of the accomplishments of our President, Barrack Obama, and the need for his leadership to continue another four years, I salute, commend and thank you for your hard work and for a job well done in getting out the vote.

It was the effort of you, me and others like us throughout this great country of America who believed and embraced the vision of President Obama of a united America as being a country for all people, a country, with the exception of Native Americans, that is made up of immigrants from many different countries and ethnic backgrounds. 

We all need to take a look in the mirror and remember that no matter how we look or how we came here, we are all Americans. (God’s people.)

What the GOP thought would be insurmountable odds had these insurmountable and obstructionist odds backfire in their faces.

The American people sent a clear message with the re-election of President Obama – listen.

The American people showed by their vote of re-electing President Obama they believe and trust his vision of change and of moving the country forward as opposed to a vision of divisive politics, taking us back to policies of 50 years ago and longer. 

The American people understand and acknowledge that we are better off now than we were four years ago when the president inherited one of the worse economies in American history from Republican President George W. Bush. 

President Obama has stopped this country from going into a depression by implementing the auto stimulus package, by bailing out the big banks and Wall Street, by having 32 months of continuous job growth which has been slowly recovering the economy and by enacting The Dream Act which gives illegal immigrants who were born here or who came to this country at a young age the pathway to obtain citizenship. 

This administration also has passed The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), The Lilly Ledbetter Act (fair and equal pay for women), Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act (gay rights in the military), upheld Pell Grants (federal student aid for college students), ended the war in Iraq brought forth the elimination (death) of Osama Bin Laden, continuously withdrawn our troops in Afghanistan and pledged the withdrawal of all American troops by 2014 and assisted in the elimination (death) of Muammar Gaddafi in addition to many other significant accomplishments.

For those who said the president didn’t have a record to run on, he accomplished these things and more with a majority obstructionist Republican Tea Party who vowed and signed pledges that their objective from the day the president was sworn into office would be not to support anything he attempted to do, even policies that had been previously agreed upon and supported by Republicans - including some of their own ideas. 

In the past four years, the president has governed by continuing to be bipartisan and has risen above the bigotry and the racist ignorance that he has encountered, always seeking to do what is in the best interest of the American people.

The face of Halifax County and this nation has changed and become more diverse than at any other time in American history. Like it or not, these are the faces of people who we will continue to see, some who were forced here under slavery and others who migrated here over decades. 

These are the faces of hard working Americans who want a united America and who should not be stereotyped because of the color of their skin or by the language that they speak.

Get use to it and get over it; it will not change; embrace it.

Newspapers and journalists have always been an instrument to report the news to the public.

While I understand there is freedom of the press, and the press can cover in detail whatever the publisher chooses, I do believe the press has a responsibility to its readers. It is shameful and disgraceful that The Gazette-Virginian only printed a small article about the president’s re-election. There are Republicans, Democrats and Independents who subscribe to as well as purchase and read your newspaper. There are voters of all parties who voted in Halifax County for Barack Obama, and the small article that was published was a disservice to those readers and disrespectful to your president. Yes, your president. 

President Obama is the president of the people and for the people. With the opportunity that your newspaper has to reach a multitude of diverse people, you have the means to support the president and bring unity instead of divisiveness to Halifax County.

Since we live in a society geared for instant gratification, many of us became disillusioned because changes were not happening as quickly as we wanted. 

Yes, the president has more work to do in the next four years ahead, but with the cooperation of both parties working to bring unity to the American people and not working for selfish political gain, the president and the country can be successful.

The American people have spoken through their vote. Yet sadly, even as I write this, there are still many Republican leaders, including Mitt Romney, who seem not to have gotten it and who refuse to accept responsibility for Romney’s defeat. There also remain those who have already purposed in their minds not to accept the president’s agenda. 

Let all decent Democrats, Republicans and Independents pray for them. In what was supposed to be a closed conversation between Romney and some of his wealthy supporters, Romney was still blaming his defeat on the 47 percent whom he says had been bought by President Obama with gifts (handouts). Since I am a minority and a person of color, I am still waiting for my gift.

It is time that we understand that when God has a plan, man cannot stop it, for God and his plan will always prevail. 

We need to start treating one another with love and as brothers and sisters, for we are one nation, one people and all Americans.

Corlys B. BaIlou, South Boston

Jacqueline P. Bailey, Halifax