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Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The Veterans Administration has been getting a lot of flack recently because of delays in processing claims.
I am sure that is justified, but thankfully, I have not had to go that route. My service ended more than 50 years ago without any need to file such a claim.
I have, however, availed myself of the medical and pharmaceutical services at the Salem facility. The cost of these excellent services, even with the co-pay, is very attractive.
I have enjoyed relatively good health, but even so, routine medical expenses for a retired person can be a significant item in the budget.
Never mind the cost factor. I want to thank the professionals at this large facility for the high quality of their thoughtful care. On one, and possibly two, occasions, they have surely saved my life.
I cannot overstate my appreciation for the exceptional care I have been fortunate enough to receive from these busy folks.
A shameful bow to gun interests
Shame on the so-called leaders of the National Rifle Association, their bosses, gun manufacturers and the legislators who bow before them. The fact that common-sense gun safety legislation in Congress has been thwarted when the great majority of Americans, including most gun owners, support it is a great tragedy.
The perpetrators of this outrage should not congratulate themselves too soon because they are being closely watched. The eyes of dead children do not blink.
Congress can do the Earth a favor
This Earth Day, I couldn't help but think about the record heat and devastating storms like Superstorm Sandy and the derecho that we experienced last year. Extreme weather events show the human cost of unchecked global warming.
Nine of every 10 Virginians live in counties hit by a federally declared weather disaster since 2007, according to a new Environment Virginia Research and Policy Center Report. While we know that global warming pollution isn't responsible for any one weather event, climate science shows that pollution that warms our world is contributing to extreme weather trends and will make massive storms, severe drought and wildfires more common in the coming years.
President Obama has stated repeatedly that he considers addressing global warming as his obligation to future generations - and he has selected a pragmatic, nonpartisan clean-air champion in Gina McCarthy to lead his administration's Environmental Protection Agency.
I hope the Senate confirms McCarthy without delay. Her leadership will help prevent more extreme weather from impacting Virginians in the future and protect our health and environment.
Environment Virginia Research and Policy Center
Speak up to renew Older Americans Act
The Older Americans Act was signed into law in 1965 to help older adults maintain their independence and dignity in their homes and communities. The law is the primary vehicle for organizing and coordinating to provide community-based service opportunities for our seniors.
The Centers for Disease Control reported that between 2000 and 2030, the population of adults aged 65 and older will rise by slightly more than 100 percent. Services made available through the OAA Title III programs allow aging adults to remain in their homes longer with programs that support quality-of-life initiatives. The programs provide services to those older adults who are in the greatest social and economic need.
The bill's renewal will continue federal support for nutritional programs such as Meals on Wheels, programs that provide help with homemaking and support for family caregivers.
Contact our senators and let them know you support this bill.
Tim Kaine: B40C Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510; phone: (202) 224-4024; online: kaine.senate.gov/contact.cfm
Mark Warner: 475 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510; phone: (202) 224-2023; online: warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Contact
Weather Journal70 Thursday to ice Sunday?