Letters to the Editor for 8/11/08

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New school in Grayson a mistake

Grayson County made a grave mistake when it broke ground for a new school in Grant.

Mount Rogers has had to fight to keep its school open for 50 years.

Mount Rogers was sacrificed because Bridle Creek needed a new school. They could have built a school for Bridle Creek and left Mount Rogers alone.

Mount Rogers is a good school and has an excellent learning environment. It has all new windows and a new heating system at a cost of $500,000. In a study of schools in Grayson, Mount Rogers was found to be in the second best condition.

Students at Mount Rogers were given a questionnaire and all but two wanted to stay in their present school.

The school board says young people deserve a state of the art facility. Mount Rogers is state of the art in the minds of the children. They have excellent teachers, classroom area, a distance learning lab to take college classes off the Internet, but the school board decided to quit using it.

The board ignores the issue of busing. There will be more bad winters, dangerous for students to leave Grant or Independence. When a storm hits, they will be too far from home to get there safely.

Legal issues could be addressed for the amount of time the students will spend on the bus each day.

They say by breaking ground they planted a seed for the western end of the county to grow. I wonder if they care about the Whitetop community that will suffer when they close Mount Rogers School.

Grayson County has no vision or insight as to what is unique and special.

Mount Rogers is the only pre-K through 12th grade school in Virginia. It has a unique band program that gets the attention of media from all across the country.

There can be no good reason for closing. All involved have a great deal to lose and nothing to gain.

The only people happy about the new school are the school board and the community of Grant.

Debbie Bramer

Fancy Gap




Volunteers, donors made event work


I want to take this opportunity to thank so many individuals and businesses that made the Smoke on the Mountain state barbecue contest judges’ stay so enjoyable.

There are too many individuals that took their time to be ambassadors and escort the judges to the teams than I could list.

Also, I want to thank the businesses that either donated food or money to purchase items for the hospitality room to help make the judges’ area so comfortable

Finally, there is one group of individuals — the Carroll County High School Interact Club led by sponsor Shannon H. Dalton — who did a magnificent job in decorating, serving food, restocking items, cleaning up and welcoming guests. And the musicians who entertained the judges Friday evening after their dinner were great.

I also want to thank City Manager Keith Holland and the Galax City Council for allowing us to put this year’s hospitality room in the new City Council Chambers.

An effort of this magnitude could not be possible without the many kind folks that assisted the judge/hospitality coordinator. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for whatever task you performed. It was very much appreciated.

Another great Smoke on the Mountain is in the books. We are looking forward to next year.

Carlene Poole

SOM Judge/Hospitality Coordinator





Hotline caller lied about ticket


On July 28-29 I led funeral processions from Fries to Galax. I want everybody to know how impressed I was to see the respect given to the deceased and families.

As vehicles approached they would immediately pull to the roadside. Many removed their hats and some even bowed their heads.

But the one thing that gave uplifted my faith in humanity was this: we were leaving Fries and had just started over the low-water bridge when I observed two boys and two girls, appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s and in swimwear, laying by the edge of the river.

As they looked up, all four immediately stood up as they saw the funeral procession and waved as we went by and remained standing until we went by. It was a true blessing when I saw such respect displayed, especially from our youth. Thank you.

I normally deal with the disrespectful ones that fail to tell the truth and the ones that always feel you should do your job and write ticketsnot to them, but to other violators.

I feel the Readers’ Hotline is a good addition to The Gazette, but it is abused by cowards who call in about people and are afraid to put their name to their comments.

The person who said they got a ticket from me for 5 mph over the speed limit was lying.

I will pay for you to print a copy of the summons in the paper, just to prove me wrong. And if this person had knowledge of a drug deal going down and did not inform me, then this person surely does not care for our children and community.

To relieve anybody’s doubt: speed enforcement, parking violations, seatbelt violations, DUIs and all laws of the commonwealth will continue to be enforced in Fries.

If you feel strongly that you have been wronged by someone and you must call the Hotline about that person, have the guts to put your name to your comments so that person will know who they wronged, so they can correct the situation.

Bobby E. Jones

Chief of Police





Council member answers questions


I read with interest the Hotline call concerning water and sewer services to citizens of Old Racetrack Road and John Edward Lane in Hillsville

Because I am the town council member for that area, I would like to answer questions raised by the caller.

“Will the residents ever have water and sewer brought to them? How many times has the money been there for this and then used elsewhere?”

After I was elected to Hillsville Town Council in 2002, I met with the outgoing council member and discussed projects that he had started or wanted to see completed. Water and sewer to Racetrack Road was at the top of his list.

I agreed to work toward that goal and set up several meetings with residents about providing these services. It was determined there was enough interest to do this project.

At the time, the sewer line was being upgraded in that area and money was set aside to extend water and sewer to the end of Racetrack Road. All that was needed were easements to lay the lines.

A couple of residents refused to sign easements. Because this was a voluntary project, their refusal put a stop to this project. I met with these property owners and could not convince them to grant the easements.

After determining that there was no chance of starting this project, the money was used to install lines in other parts of town.

If there is interest in providing water and sewer to Racetrack Road and John Edward Lane, no one has contacted me about it.

There will be a new project beginning soon to upgrade water lines in south Hillsville, and this may be the time for property owners to request these services. It will take a joint effort by all property owners to accomplish this.

If there are any property owners in the affected area that would like to request these services, call the Hillsville town office at (276) 728-2128, ext. 11, or contact me at (276) 733-8713 or gregyonce@earthlink.net. I am always available to talk with anyone.

Greg Yonce

Laurel Fork District

council member