Readers' Hotline 3/28/11

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Send a signal
Fellow motorists: Signal first, slow down second. Then make your turn. The turn signal warns those of us behind you that you are about to slow down. Slowing down, starting to turn and then putting on your turn signal right in the middle of it serves no purpose except to answer the question, “why in the world did this person suddenly come to a stop in front of me?” Oh, I get it. He is turning. Please signal first, slow down, then turn.

Ticker tape parade
I'd like to thank the patrons who gave the Galax boys a nice welcome home for winning the state championship and I can't understand why the City of Galax hasn't given them a parade or something to show how much we appreciate the win. Thanks, Galax basketball team. You did a great job this year.

What’s the story?
If deputies are off duty when they are on Interstate 77 and they are volunteering, why are they driving county vehicles? Doesn't this cost the taxpayers money?
Editor's note: If this is the same person who calls every week about this issue, I'm beginning to suspect there's something you don't want to get caught doing on the interstate.

Capable of responding
This is in response to the “different focus” caller about deputies on I-77. Where does the caller think I-77 is? It is not in Floyd County. Last time I looked, it is in Carroll. Those volunteer deputies on 77 can respond to assist calls in other parts of the county if the need arises. If you have a deputy in Laurel Fork, Cana or Dugspur and one is needed in Woodlawn or Laurel, which could be there quicker? Some people just don't have any common sense.

No consent
I'm calling about consent of being seen in the emergency room. I noticed several times I’ve been here that I have been treated and released without even signing a consent paper. Are we not supposed to consent before the doctor sees us?

I am sitting here looking at the Galax Gazette dated March 16 and I am so appalled by the story about five men who were charged with abduction and kidnapping of Nathan Combs. I'm surprised there was only one picture and that is of the young black man charged. Where is the picture of the four other suspects that were arrested in this case? Put the other people in the paper. What's the matter with you Gazette, that you have to profile?
Editor’s note: The photo showed the only local suspect charged in the case, Michael Ray Brown of Galax. The other four people charged are from Southwest Virginia and beyond the newspaper’s coverage area. There would be no point in publishing photos of non-local suspects whom nobody would be familiar with.

Dispatchers, too
I'm calling in response to people calling in about the fire, rescue and police departments deserving praise. Being a firefighter, I agree. There are lots that do need the praise and thanks. But, who is the first person you call? It’s the dispatcher. Everybody forgets about the dispatchers. They are a very important part of our lives and on behalf of the local fire department, I would just like to say thank you to the local dispatchers. You do a great job.

Tie in safety
HoustonFest is a great idea, but are they going to have a motorcycle safety class during HoustonFest, because motorcycle safety is an issue [and Houston Caldwell, whom the festival honors, died in a motorcycle wreck]. Young people need to know the dangers of riding a motorcycle. You need to have something like a motorcycle safety class both days. We have to save these young kids on these motorcycles.

No breaks for our own
Will someone please tell me what is wrong with the American people that are running this country? We are broke. We can't help our seniors, veterans, orphanages, homeless. In the past month we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile and Turkey, and now Pakistan, home of Bin Laden. Retired seniors living on fixed incomes receive no aid nor do they get any breaks, while the government and religious organizations pour millions of dollars and tons of food into foreign countries. We have hundreds of adoptable children here. But no, they choose to adopt a foreign child. America, a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without needed meds and mentally ill without treatment

Make it thrive
Yesterday I drove down Main Street in Galax. All I could see was consignment shops, antique shops and eating places. I can remember when Galax was a thriving city. Now Galax holds nothing for the next generation. Galax needs new ideas, young blood and people that really care about getting factories and jobs. Someone told me that city council wanted to turn Galax into a retirement town. In doing so, all the young people will leave for jobs. People should have a vote in the money matters such as all the money that is being spent for the park off I-77. That's ridiculous. Like that is going to feed a hungry family. Why not do the city a favor, city council, and retire. We want our Galax back.

Empty elsewhere
On the point of Independence buying the Robertshaw building. Looks like that was pretty convenient for the guy that is selling that. They act like they were real tickled to get a building empty and there are buildings all over Grayson County empty.

Scoot over
I travel to work from Dugspur to Galax using U.S. 58, Hillsville to Galax. Every morning I must leave much earlier because so many drivers block both the left and right lane doing approximately 30 mph when most of the time the speed limit is 55. Please leave the left lane open for us to get to work at a reasonable time. I respect your decision to travel 30 miles an hour so you should respect my right to drive the speed limit.

Get it straight
Regarding the comment, “on the line.” Have you ever been in a house and had a gun pulled on you as an EMS provider, been attacked by a family member or cussed and threatened? Get your facts straight before you go posting comments on the Hotline that you know nothing about.

Fee added
I just wanted to tell how hard up Grayson County is. I went up there to get my county stickers and I forgot my check book and I used my debit card and they charged me $1.03 for using my debit card. I thought this was ridiculous.
Editor's note: It is not uncommon for a business — or, in this case, a local government — to charge a customer a fee for using a debit or credit card. Credit card companies take a percentage of every sale from the merchant when a customer pays with a card, so the county is passing that cost on to the customer.

Saw it all
To the person that let out the black dog on the dead end road, your license plate number, make, model of your vehicle were recorded and will be turned over to the proper authorities.

Milking the system
There is [a county worker — details omitted in editing ] whose daughter is getting food stamps, rental assistance and all her needs.

Don’t tell me
Every few minutes we hear, “This is 98.1 WBRF Classic Country.” I think we know what we are tuned to. We don't have to be reminded. We don't have Alzheimer's, all of us. I turn to other channels because I get tired of hearing it. A lot of people listened because of Bruce Hodges. Bless him wherever he may be.

Cussed out
Some neighbors and I went to a restaurant for St. Patrick's Day and everyone there was being loud due to St. Patrick's Day and whatnot. Management and some of the waitresses came to our table and said they had had two complaints and that we would have to leave. There were three people that were with the manager, and the manager cursed one of my friends, which I thought was very unnecessary. We were willing to go along with them asking us to leave, but like I say, there were other people being loud. The manager didn't have to curse my friend. I just wanted to bring this to people's attention. People will be willing to go along with you but you don't have to stand and curse them.

Power buy
I know someone who works for Appalachian Power and is it really necessary to have a $200 pair of boots every year? Somebody needs to look in to the Appalachian spending habits.
Editor’s note: How do you know who paid for the boots?

Loss of appetite
It is a disgrace to our county to try to order food, go to a drive-thru and constantly see people with meth mouths trying to serve us. It has been suppressing my appetite. Their teeth are nasty and they do not need to be in a public job. They need to be hidden off somewhere where I don't have to see that all the time. That's why I go to Winston or Roanoke to actually get food. You [don’t see this because it’s] a result of being poor and not being able to afford a tooth brush. I'm not sure what we can all do about it but I do know these small-time jobs are feeding that drug habit. It is running off patrons from the restaurants because no one has an appetite left after they see that.  If those people want to do drugs, they need to just go home and stay out of the public sector.

Hogging services
I am tired of parents that use their children to get more services from social services such as family preservation, psych services and milk the system to further their own agenda. There are kids out there that actually really need those services and it is disheartening to see kids who go to Galax Elementary and Galax Middle School to get these services that don't really need it, so their mom or dad can get more money off the system. They should be held accountable for using kids to further their agenda. Maybe we should pre-screen adults before we give these services free to children who don't need it.

Bug an official
I'm calling about the lines on the road. You can't see them. They are so faded when it rains or at night. The only way to get those lines fixed with all the cutbacks with VDOT is to let your town manager know. You are going to have to really call him up and bug him until he calls VDOT, because they won't do nothing. Bug the governor or somebody, is all I know. If people would aggravate the town manager, he could really put in a word and get someone to do something. Good luck, because I have potholes I can't get fixed. If you hit them, you are going to bust some bearings.

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