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Readers' Hotline 2/12/14

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Firefighters pulled over
Is it true that the Galax Police Department has given speeding tickets to two Galax firemen while they were answering calls? If it is, what on earth is going on in the city? First, they change the speed limit to get more money and now this. I hope the council gets involved.
Editor’s Note: Galax General District Court records confirm that police officers charged two Galax firefighters last month with traffic offenses, and The Gazette confirmed that the volunteer firefighters were responding to fire calls in both instances. They were reporting to the firehouse in private vehicles equipped with emergency lights. A charge of reckless driving was issued Jan. 16 against firefighter Justin C. Ayers, for allegedly driving in excess of the speed limit while responding on the call. Ayers was pulled over and charged by Officer Jacob Vaughan. He was scheduled for a court appearance on Feb. 3 and the case was continued “by agreement” until Aug. 18, according to a court record. Galax Fire Capt. Michael Lee Ayers was pulled over by Officer Terry Woods and charged Jan. 23 with speeding. A court record shows the charge was dismissed Jan. 27. The firefighters and Galax Fire Chief David Hankley declined to comment. Police Chief Rick Clark referred the matter to City Manager Keith Barker. The city manager declined to respond to specific Readers Hotline calls about the matter, but issued the following written statement: “The Galax Police Department and Galax Fire Department have procedures and policies in place for emergency personnel when they must respond to emergency events. All responders, both professional and volunteer, must use due regard for public safety in the use of personal and emergency response vehicles when responding. We value the efforts and dedication of all of these individuals in keeping our city safe.” According to the Code of Virginia (Section 46.2-920), certain vehicles are exempt from regulations in certain situations. “The driver of any emergency vehicle, when such vehicle is being used in the performance of public services, and when such vehicle is operated under emergency conditions, may, without subjecting himself to criminal prosecution, disregard speed limits, while having due regard for safety of persons and property.” For the purposes of this code section, the term “emergency vehicle” includes “any vehicle authorized to be equipped with alternating, blinking, or flashing red or red and white secondary warning lights.” Vehicles covered by the code (Section 46.2-1029.2) include those operated on official business by local fire officials.

Good deed
I would like to say thank you for the Galax police chief for the good deed he did at about 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 30. Thank you very much, Mr. Clark. You will be greatly rewarded and blessed by God for what you did.

All kinds
Why do some so-called Christians, all they do is talk about how fat people are and wonder why the church is not full. I think they have fat on the brain. God made all kinds. Maybe these people have health problems. We should pray for them instead of talk about them. We are not to judge. We can’t all be skinny.

Out of place
Why is it that there is a rescue member living in [one community] and answering calls [in another territory]. Either this person needs to resign, be suspended or asked to move to their coverage area before he wrecks or hurts himself answering calls.
 
Read it all
I agree 100 percent that marriage is between a man and a woman. Corinthians says that, but it also says if the unbelieving depart, let him depart and brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. That was my point. It is not for you or me to judge, only God. Numbers 30 tells what God told Moses about divorce and three times it says, “And, the Lord shall forgive her.” Also, Matthew 5:28 says, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery in his heart.” And yes, John 4 speaks of the woman at the well and again, even with five husbands and one she is with not being hers, Jesus still is not telling her she is going to hell if she doesn’t go back to the first one and that was Jesus himself talking to her. Take your own advice and read it all, not just what you can use to condemn others.

Helping hands
As I was leaving the parking lot at Horton’s, this nice young man flagged me down and told me I had a flat tire. He changed the tire. The young lady with him took the spare tire next door and had it inflated and they wouldn’t take any money. Thanks again to these two wonderful people.

For the people
I am tired of the select few people trying to tell citizens of Grayson County how to run our businesses. If you do not like the way we want it, you need to move. Zoning was shoved down our throat in 1998. Wilson District people voted in Rosenbaum to repeal zoning and cut wasteful spending. You people do not like it now because Rosenbaum is a 3-2 for the people. You all have had it for years. That was all right for you select few people until now. Leave these board members alone. Let them do their job. If Kate Irwin won, would it have been 3-2 against the people? Yes, it would. Zoning is costing us to implement it. When we get rid of zoning, we can cut employees. That’s the things you don’t want to do, but that is business. We have to do it to keep our spending down — wasteful spending. So, they will not raise our taxes no more. The zoning is making it hard for small businesses to come in our county. We need every business we can get. We lost it big when the county would not let the four-lane go through Independence.

Up in the sky
Other observers of the UFO on Jan. 19 evening find that it does indeed look like an X47B, save that it flew only at treetop level, hugging the valleys and the hills and the mountains. It flew across Carroll, Grayson and Galax at very, very low speed. The X47B has a rated speed of up to Mach 9. Obviously this appears to be some sort of test. Keep your eyes pealed for the recognizance in the sky.

What could it be?
I live in the Coon Ridge area of Hillsville. On Jan. 19 about 5:30 p.m., here comes a very loud explosion like someone dropped a bomb. When you hear something like this inside your home, it is very scary. I called the sheriff’s department and asked if he had gotten any calls that it might be a earthquake. He told me he knew something was going on, but that’s all he would tell me. Other people in this surrounding area have heard it, too. This is not the first time we have heard this loud explosion. Does anyone know anything about what is going on? I would like to know. This happened about the same time and day that those drones were seen in Grayson and Galax and Carroll County. So, I don’t know whether there was any connection.

Not for foodies
It is a disgrace, the food that is served to residents of a nursing home. I do not consider a small, and I do mean small, bowl of vegetable soup and a piece of hard corn bread a meal. Then a small frozen chicken pie and a cup of fruit cocktail, a nourishing meal. Families bring in food for residents because they will not eat what is on their trays. More food goes back to the kitchen than is eaten. Many cannot complain. They need to do something about the nursing/CNAs who have to double-shift, working 16 hours per day and then having to come in the next day. They are exhausted. It does no good to complain because it falls on deaf ears.

Public groping
I am a concerned parent. I was at the store with my family Saturday when there were two women groping on one another and touching each other. I had my 5-year-old daughter in the buggy pushing her through the store, asked me what they were doing. I don’t think that should be displayed at any store or public place.

Renew early
AARP continues to send out renewal notices on membership four months before your card expires. When you get those membership cards, check your last official card before you send in any more money.

Come on over
I’m calling to answer the question from Carroll County last week about zoning. If Carroll County doesn’t have zoning and has houses on the ridge line, if you want to see any more, come to Grayson County where we have zoning and see all houses on the ridge lines that you want to see.

Alternative programming
Last week when President Obama made his State of the Union speech, I watched “Moonshiners” instead, because they at least have sense enough to make moonshine.

Drinking happens
This is about the comment Jan. 30 about the wrong crowd and the fiddlers’ convention. This is not the only time that people drink. If you will just read your court cases in the paper, it is full of drug and alcohol convictions. You don’t even have to pay to go down inside the fence at Felts Park to drink. Let’s face it. Galax is not Mayberry. Get a life.

Found a mess
To the writer who wants feedback on his article in the Hotline. What is wrong with you people? Don’t you know when President Obama came to office, he inherited the worst mess of any president in our history? He inherited two wars going on at the same time. We have spent so much money and it came from the Bush administration, trying to clean up what he left our president. What has Obama done to deserve impeachment? What has he done but to say “equal rights under the law.” Everybody deserves equal rights. I don’t care who they are or what they have done. I wish you people who call yourselves Republicans would look over history and see that Republicans, all they want is more millionaires backing stupid policies.

Still in use
Remember when the old Hillsville Elementary School was closed because of complaints and howling? It’s not safe for our children, same as Woodlawn School. So, a brand new school was built and the first occupants in the old school building were Head Start children. It’s still in use. 4-H kids even use it for dances. Woodlawn School is being used several times a week and especially on weekends. There are a lot of basketball games being played there in that so-called unsafe gym. Kids are crammed and jammed in the high school at Carroll County and the middle school in our great county seat.

Sees a dictator
The Democrats are making a big deal out of some Republicans taking gifts. They don’t say anything about Obama lying. I can watch him on TV and tell when he is going to tell a lie. He always shuts his mouth real tight and makes a face. What Obama has done, Richard Nixon looks like small potatoes. All I can say is, we have a dictator for president. I think he is trying to bring America down and some of the Democrats are backing him up.

Hogs and chickens
I would like to say to the person that put in the Hotline this week about having a hog farm on one side of him and an asphalt plant on the other side of him, did he even think what he is saying? Zoning is killing everything. People should be allowed to have a hog, a chicken or a cow because back a few years ago, people raised most of their meat and everything and prices in the store — has he seen the price of bacon lately? Bacon about $4 a pound and a gallon of milk about $4 or somewhere close there. Does he even think about people that don’t have much that maybe they could raise them a hog for their family and chicken to have eggs and things and gardens and also, the asphalt plant, does he even think about what he is saying because that could bring in some jobs. We need jobs in Grayson County. All these ridiculous people that have some good land and have everything they need, they don’t think about other people. They need to come off their prideful high horses and try to help everybody else that needs help and get rid of zoning.

Fighting for Kroger
Attention Kroger shoppers. We have got to save our store. We now have an address to write letters. It is Kroger Mid-Atlantic Division, 3631 Peters Creek Road, Roanoke, Va. 24019-4002. Please, everybody write. If you don’t have Facebook, let’s write and [try to] keep our store in Galax.

Human imperfections
In response to the non-smoking sinner, if you eat fast food or drink soda, you are no better than a smoking Christian. That stuff is bad for your body, too. We Christians need to stop attacking each other and start praying for each other. Let God do the judging. Christianity is under attack by non-Christians enough without Christians attacking other Christians. That’s why people aren’t going to church. They hear so-called Christians say, “Oh, look at so and so and how they should be in hell.” They think Christians are hypocrites. They see our sins, whether it is judging someone else, talking about someone else, drinking a glass of wine, smoking, cursing, saying negative things about other people, all those things are sins just like adultery, murder, lying, envying someone’s car, home or job. No one is without sin. Thank God for his son, Jesus Christ, who shed his blood to cover all the human imperfections, because without that, none of us would be saved.
 
Chicken on Sundays
I wanted to comment on somebody saying something about you going to hell for smoking. How about eating? Do you go out to eat after church on Sunday and did you know you are defiling your body if you are eating a lot of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and biscuits on Sunday? So, before you judge one sin, think about another one.

Counter opinion
This is a response to “going to get ya.” Seems to me the Grayson Sheriff hasn’t gotten anyone. The deputies and investigators do the work and the sheriff wants to get on TV and take credit for political gain. I think instead of thanking God for a sheriff you think is righteous, you should realize there are two sides to every story. Obviously you only know one side of a person to make such a judgment call. Look at Jesus, what he told the Pharasees, “Even so you outwardly appear righteous to men but inside you are full of hypocrisy.” There are many Grayson County residents who totally disagree with your praise of the sheriff. When election time comes, we will exercise our right to vote against him. We have our opinions and rights, just like you do.

Stop the tyranny
In response to “feedback,” I agree with you as far as Democrats being a problem, but Republicans are just as bad because they are standing by and letting this happen. We need to step up and do something about the way this country is going. We need to start right here in Virginia with this new attorney general deciding he wants to pass gay marriage after it has already been shot down several times. If we don’t stop him now, what is going to be next? Our guns? It’s hard to say but we need to stand up as a people and stop the tyranny that is going on in this country or we are all doomed.

Judging others
This comment is for smoking sinners. I don’t know what Bible you read, but my Bible says, “judge not lest ye be judged, for the measure that you judge others, so shall God judge you.” And, it also says God will convict you in your heart of what you are doing wrong, not what you think everybody else is. Sweep off your own back porch before you start going in on any other people.