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Drinking water not at risk from mining

To the editor:

Overblown fears about uranium mining are much ado about nothing in regards to justifying an out of date ban on uranium mining (Keep uranium mining ban, Sen. Ruff says, Jan. 14). 

Uranium mining has been performed safely all over the world for decades, and there’s little evidence to suggest Virginia would be any different. Those who point out Virginia’s wet environment should be made aware of the regulations already in place to properly manage that condition. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a measure called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and it requires industrial facilities in Virginia to obtain an NPDES permit through the State of Virginia.

Compliance with this program would effectively prevent storm water discharge from uranium mining facilities from threatening groundwater. In addition to EPA, seven other state and federal regulatory agencies have authority to oversee the rest of the uranium mining and milling process.

Continuing a ban on one of Virginia’s best natural resources, while also depriving the nation of an efficient and abundant carbon-free source of electricity would be irresponsible energy policy on behalf of the Virginia legislature.

Taylor Smith

Mount Prospect, Ill. 

(Taylor Smith ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) is an energy policy analyst for The Heartland Institute.)


Holiday weekend 

To the editor:

This past weekend the federal government and the state of Virginia honored the memories of three great men. One unifying factor in their lives was the Christian faith. 

Robert E. Lee was an Episcopalian, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson a Presbyterian, and Martin Luther King, a Baptist. They studied the Bible and tried to live their lives according to the “Golden Rule” and also carry out their duty to improve the lives of others. Galatians 3:28 - “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus;” and John 8:32 — “Jesus said His disciples would know the truth, and the truth would set them free.”

Robert E. Lee believed slavery was a necessary evil until slaves were educated and trained to support themselves, and he allowed his wife to teach his inherited slaves to read. Thomas Jackson also taught slaves in Lexington to read. Both of these men broke the laws in Virginia, which prevented slaves from being educated. They believed that God created each individual and saw each person as important in the eyes of God. Robert E. Lee freed all of his inherited slaves in 1862, a time when the South was winning all the major battles of the Civil War.

 Martin Luther King’s grandfather and father were both Christian ministers, and Martin Luther King as a minister changed American society by using his religious background and training to lead the Civil Rights Movement in this country.

 Those who are critical of the Christian faith either deny or are uneducated as to the positive changes in the lives of those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

 You can check out the positive influences of the Christian faith on the world, the U.S.A. and on individual lives on the Internet or in the local library.

Rev. Bill Wilkins

Vernon Hill


‘The Wall That Heals’ coming here April 11-14

To the editor:

At the beginning of this school year Jennifer Roark, social studies teacher at Halifax County Middle School, contacted the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund concerning the traveling tour of “The Wall That Heals.” 

This 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. has visited more than 350 sites since 1996, spreading its healing message to millions. In October Mrs. Roark was notified that Halifax County Middle School had been approved for the 2013 tour and was scheduled here from April 11-14. 

An exhibit of this scale was very costly to create and to move and set up, and requires site managers who accompany “The Wall” while it is in our community. The host site is asked to help defray some of these expenses. As this was not a budgeted item, area businesses, organizations and individuals were contacted to raise the minimum $5,000 needed in order to sign the contract to bring the exhibit here. 

I would like to thank all the individuals, businesses and organizations who helped to meet this requirement.

This year our nation begins an ongoing commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the war in Vietnam. 

While here, the exhibit will open to the public 24 hours a day to all who seek healing and understanding of this part of our nation’s history. There is no charge for admission. 

If there are others who would like to help raise the additional funds needed, checks may be made out and mailed to Halifax County Middle School, Attention Jennifer Roark, 1011 Middle School Circle, South Boston, VA 24592. 

Please put “The Wall” on your check’s memo line. 

Fay Satterfield

Vice President

American Legion
Auxiliary, Unit 8

Uranium mining stigma

To the editor:

My blog,, has a new story on the stigma of uranium mining in Virginia.  

Gov. McDonnell is awaiting a study on the stigma which is due to come out Tuesday.  But those who live in Southside Virginia do not need a study to tell them that the uranium mine is having a big negative impact on business, and in particular real estate, already.

Check it out, and continue to call senators to let your views be known on this all-important issue.

Lavinia Edmunds


(Lavinia Edmunds is a Towson University professor and property-owner in Halifax.)