Letters to the Editor for 02/15/10

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Retirement facility needed


A Feb. 3 Readers’ Hotline comment regarding the need for a retirement facility in Galax prompts me to update the public on activity by the city to pursue such a facility.

One of my campaign promises when I ran for City Council in 2008 was to explore opportunities for a senior retirement facility to locate in Galax.

I have spoken with numerous interested constituents in regard to this need. Along with the city manager, I met with local community leaders to discuss and determine the type facility most needed.

It was the consensus of the group that the assisted living facility model most adequately meets the needs of the area’s residents.

We subsequently met with the owner of the Wheatland facility in Hillsville, and toured his facility for information gathering.

The facility has to be a private enterprise, and an interested provider has not been identified.

May I suggest, however, that should another opportunity present itself, that the community be open minded and forward thinking in its response.

Galax needs a retirement facility.

Sharon Plichta

Galax City Council


Why should deer meat go to waste?


I found the Feb. 1 article "Police target deer" to be very interesting. Most amazing was the information that about 200 deer were dumped in the landfill.

The average doe can yield about 50 pounds of high quality meat. So, about 10,000 pounds of high quality meat was buried in the landfill.

At the same time many people (in letters, Hotline calls and regular articles) are complaining about the Appalachian Power rate increases. A common element of these complaints is that paying the electric bill will make it impossible to purchase food.

Also the area has very high unemployment.

There's something wrong here. We have starving people. We have people who are not working and could be available for processing deer carcasses.

And, we bury 10,000 pounds of high quality meat in the landfill.

Fred Saal



Patton was a force behind the scenes

I cannot let time pass without acknowledging that a great lady passed quietly away on Feb. 4 in a local nursing home.

Frieda Lindsey Patton had been a moving force in the medical community when a dream was born, developed and became a reality— Twin County Community Hospital.

Some of the older generation will remember that we had two private hospitals in Galax: Waddell Hospital and Galax General Hospital.

Both agreed to close and an advisory committee was formed to seek a community nonprofit hospital. As one of the founders, I chaired this committee in 1968.

Patton was office manager for Galax General. She was on the ground floor in seeking a community hospital.

She marshaled the office force, who became known as “Patton’s Raiders," to promote the cause of a hospital dream.

Under her leadership this group had fundraisers and other activities to put forth awareness of the need for a community nonprofit hospital. In February of 1968, Twin County Hospital was chartered.

Kenneth Waddell steered this advisory committee as they worked to realize the future hospital.

The miracle for the medical needs of the area came into being in 1973 as the last of the Hill-Burton federal funds were awarded to the Twin County project.

Throughout the planning and development, Frieda Patton maintained her enthusiasm. She became the first office manager for the new hospital.

Under her management, the business office became a model of how a hospital should be organized and managed. Her skills drew the love and loyalty of her work force in these early years of Twin County Community Hospital [now known as Twin County Regional Hospital].

This is my tribute to a great lady, beautiful on the outside and inside, who put service above self, and in her own quiet way helped to make health care in the Carroll-Grayson area a progressive force for the well-being of the whole area.

Dr. Robert S. Dendy

Former board chairman Twin County Community Hospital

Laurinburg, N.C.


Wind energy info available online


This is in response to a letter by Ernie McGuire that was published Feb. 8.

McGuire was stating his displeasure with Appalachian Power Co. and his electric bill as compared with bills he received while living in Boone, N.C.

He asked that if anyone knew how to build a windmill to generate power to get in touch with him.

I would like to suggest that he, and anyone else who is interested, contact the following: North Carolina Wind Energy, Appalachian State University, Technology Department, Kerr Scott Hall, Boone, N.C. 28608.

You can also visit their Web site at www.wind.appstate.edu for further information about various wind turbines, workshops, research, etc.

William G. Brannon



Hotline discussion saddens reader


The Readers' Hotline feature in your publication has become one of the most discussed topics among citizens of the Twin Counties, which I am deeply saddened by.

As a recent communication graduate at a local university, biased form of communication, oral or written, can create a major impact on an individual, a small group of people, and even a large mass audience.

Conversations about published phone opinions from local citizens have taken the place of other casual and business conversation topics among residents, workers, educators and government officials, which gets them "worked up" over just opinions from unidentified sources and not factual nor credible information.

The inserted editor's notes after selected published phone opinions are basically contradicting your purpose of providing an avenue for citizens to voice their opinion.

The editor's note used to serve as a fact clarification for voiced opinions. Now, it is basically someone else's opinion that is "making fun" of the published phone opinion.

Seems like the Twin County region is focused highly on tourism. If someone visits our area, loves it, and might decide to move here, what are they going to pick up and read? Your newspaper.

If all they see are published negative phone opinions, what kind of representation do we have of this area?

I made a decision after I graduated from college to come back to the Twin Counties where I was proudly born and raised, to make a living and start out my career.

Personally, I don't appreciate this representation of me as a citizen of this area, nor anyone else that lives in the Twin Counties.

One of the greatest things about being a United States citizen is that citizens are entitled to their opinion.

Everyone needs to be proud of what he or she believes in and, if so, it should not be hard to sign their name to it like I have done. Even though I'm part of an obvious young adult minority among all citizens of the area, I have an opinion, too.

Gerald R. Goad