Readers' Hotline 2/1/12

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Tired of looking
I only have two levels of post-high school education and need some help in my quest for information. I cannot open my newspaper or see the phone book covers and not see a photo of an insurance agent or an attorney, not to mention the roadside billboards. My question: Are they more photogenic, more important than those that teach us to read, those who look after our healthcare, deliver our central products, build our bridges, houses, roads and produce; produce our foods and deliver it to the stores so that we may pick it up at anytime. I could go on and on. I use tunnel vision in passing a billboard so I can take care of this. I am told the newspapers and phone book cover are very useful for the bird cage.
Editor’s note: It’s unfortunate that those you mentioned, like teachers and blue collar workers, are often paid so little for keeping our society going. But, few of them need to advertise their services, as insurance agents and attorney’s do.

Bullying disgrace
It is a shame and disgrace for this bunch that are bullying other kids in school. I had a grandson going to Carroll County High School. He would have graduated there this year but this bunch kept bullying him and sent him overboard. They had to remove him somewhere else. He was a quiet and caring boy. It broke my heart to see this happen to him. Need to do them like Roy Acuff song — take them behind the barn and bust their butts. Back when we were growing up in the ‘40s, if you did things you weren’t supposed to do, you got a switching or a paddling and you didn’t forget it. You love your kids, but if you find out they are bullying other kids please try to stop it before it is too late.

Counting the days
Administrators of Grayson County beware. Another election coming in less than a year. You have destroyed this county with your greed. Something will change some time or another, I hope.

Flag theft
Mr. Editor, recently a military funeral was held at a local church in the Fries area. When the person that conducted the military funeral was done, the commander gave the widow an American flag. It was stolen right there and we know who stole it and he has not brought it back to the lady. I hope he reads this in the paper and returns it. If not, I hope someone steals it from him. Thanks to the funeral home and also thanks to the VFW. They all done a good job. This is a cruel act toward the widow.

Pay up
I can’t believe all those millionaires refuse to pay their fair share of the taxes. They are the same as being on welfare because they are letting the middle class pay the bills. Their lack of paying and their responsibilities are falling on the back of all our middle class. I think they should be ashamed of themselves.

Consumer alert
I want to say about the hotline juice alert, the stores have not banned that juice coming from Brazil. They are still selling it.

Above and beyond
I want our community to know that our TCRH [employees] give more than medical attention to families. You are a wonderful and kind, loving people.

Punish the owners
I wish the workers of the staff of the animal shelter would get out and check to find out who is putting all these stray cats and dogs out. They need to find the people who are doing this instead of punishing the animals that are out there starving and freezing. Punish the people who are turning them out instead of the animals.

Late yearbooks
The Carroll County High School yearbook [should] have been available in May of last year rather than November of this school year. The yearbook staff should be learning more than arranging pictures on a page and collecting ads. A life-long lesson could be learned about time management, deadlines and consequences of not meeting the deadlines. Seniors should have been having a yearbook signing party before graduation. When my son’s yearbook finally came, he was nearly finished with his first semester at Radford University. It meant very little to him by that time and the yearbooks are expensive. The entire situation is totally inexcusable.

Tearing it apart
[Editorial letter writer] Donn Bogert is like all Republicans. Keeps saying things over and over thinking that people will buy it. At the same time, he has not one time, like all Republicans, mentioned the sorry bunch of Republican congressmen that is trying to destroy this country just because we have an African-American president. All you Republicans stick to it and you will tear this country all to pieces, and at the same time you are plum idiotic. You are nauseating. You are watching even the Twin Counties go to the dogs, too. No one has said one thing about the 150 jobs that were lost to Carroll County because of the stupid laws we have.

Better weather
WXII Channel 12 provides better weather coverage for the area around Grayson County and Galax and Carroll County than any of the other Roanoke stations. I am in agreement with the callers that say if you don’t like it, change the channel. We are consistently on their weather map and always given the temperature in Galax without having to wait for weathercasters to get around to our area. Keep going Channel 12. We are with you.
Editor’s note: No more calls about this topic, please.

Trash talk
I was reading The Gazette about the Grayson County Supervisors putting together a committee to see the impact of the trash tax. Most people don’t know what the so-called trash tax goes for. It goes for paying off the interest loan only of the school that was built in Mouth of Wilson or in Troutdale. It shouldn’t really be called the trash tax. Shouldn’t be there anyway if they would have done their job and realized the school didn’t need to be built there in the first place. Not many people know the trash tax just pays off the interest loaned of that school.
Editor’s note: This is not accurate, according to Grayson County Administrator Jonathan Sweet, who provided the following explanation. The trash fee covers the expense of providing curbside pickup to every Grayson home. The 44 percent tax increase went to debt service of school construction and renovation. Interest on the loans is only about $500,000 a year. Grayson is “voluntarily and strategically” making principal payments for around $500,000; total $1 million. It is generating about $1.1 million with the trash fee. Because the timing was close and the amounts are similar, there is speculation that the fee pays for the schools, when it amounts to six in one hand and a half-dozen in another. General fund tax dollars once paid for trash service. But when the county’s finances went into the ditch and the schools note came due, Grayson could no longer afford to provide trash services through the real estate tax revenues (at that time the lowest in the state), so the county implemented a fee for the service that covered the actual cost. The increase of 15 cents on the tax levy was due to the hole the county was in financially and to cover increases in expenses, including debt service. Banks would not lend additional monies because Grayson’s financial forecast could not ensure payback. It took both the trash fee and the tax increase to resolve the finances.

Basic refereeing
The basketball referees at Fries recreation are the worst refs I think I have ever seen. I honestly do not think they even know one thing about basketball. If somebody could just show them the basics that if somebody falls down with a ball on the floor and they get up and take off again, that is a walk. That would be awesome, if they would just know the basics. Those guys are over there calling the game — those kids get nothing from it. All it is is a wild mess and honest to goodness it’s a wonder there isn’t a fight during every game. Please take control. Give those guys a class, let them sit down and watch one ball game of somebody that knows what they are doing.