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Readers' Hotline 4/1/13

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Banner year for town
Editor’s note: Independence Town Manager Jerry Hughes last week issued this statement in response to two Hotline comments published in the March 25 edition of The Gazette, concerning why the town hasn’t changed its seasonal banners downtown:
“The Independence Town Council originally purchased banners for only the Christmas and summer seasons so that they could evaluate the attractiveness and durability of the banners prior to investing town funds into four seasons of banners. Town council at its Jan. 8, 2013, meeting authorized the purchase of additional banners for the spring and fall seasons. As the callers indicated, in their Hotline comments, the banners are attractive and do add to a positive visual image for the town and council found the banners from the selected manufacturer to be durable and maintenance friendly. Subsequent to the authorization to purchase additional banners, the town began working with the manufacturer to not only purchase ‘standard’ banner designs, but to also purchase banners designed specifically for the Town of Independence. Banners are now on order and include designs with the town’s name/welcome message, farmers market banners, town office banner and several banners promoting the Mountain Foliage Festival – Grand Privy Races. The new banners will arrive within the next two weeks and the Spring banners will be installed soon after arrival. The town will be hosting an inaugural Spring Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2013, and the new banners should be in place prior to this event. The Spring Festival will include face painting and kite construction for children, limited offerings from the Independence Farmers’ Market and a mid-day cruise-in of antique autos from groups in Elkin, Sparta, Wytheville and locally.”

Just slow down
Just think how many millions of gallons of gas we would save a day if people would just slow down to the speed limit. Or just slow down. Would feel a lot safer out there on the road. This just happens to be a perspective from a conservative Republican. Vote Republican next time, please, so we can have some change.

Let us know
Clean it up. It’s an eyesore. This is for a house [on Glendale Road]. Is that a yard or is it a place to dump trash? If it is a place to dump, please let us know. We have a truckload ready to take to the dump and we could bring it there, as that would be much closer.

Don’t be silly
Here we go again. Grayson County Recreation’s spring and summer sports are here and also the complaining. The kids should go to the bathroom before practice. They don’t practice that long anyway and if by some chance there is an emergency, there is a nice restroom provided on fields one and two. We should thank the rec park for giving our kids a place to play sports instead of complaining over silly stuff.

Taking over?
I read where the Independence officer was charged with alleged rough talking to the Grayson County deputy. This is probably nothing more than the sheriff’s department taking over smaller towns around here like was done with Fries. Do away with city police and try to put deputies in charge. The people of Grayson County need to wake up and take a look at this.
Editor’s note: You are welcome to that opinion, but you present no evidence to back up your case.

In the dark
I have been to two different programs at the big church in town. Why doesn’t someone turn on the parking lot lights or the lights outside the church? This is a real problem for the people walking.

Not the same
A local workplace is losing a good businessman due to his retirement. This man knew how to talk to employees and get the job done. Now the workplace will go downhill definitely because of his retirement. The one that is taking over has no common sense for talking to people. His vocabulary consists of about three words – “you are fired.” And, “do as I say.” Is that any way to run a company? I say, no it is not. I say this business is in deep turmoil.

Advance the schools
Well, the newly appointed chairman of the board of supervisors pocketed his third chairmanship and now he reigns over all. Immediately, the county administrator starts putting demands on the school board to pad [what] is already full and running over from the high taxes raised. Parents with children in Grayson County Schools can’t notice nothing for the students in one paper today and no raise for teachers in another. The November election can make the difference and put our county back on track and our school back at the top of the list like it used to be before this regime took over.

Don’t be gullible
I read the article concerning the arrest of the chief of police in Independence. Two sentences jump out at me. Sheriff Vaughan said the investigator was glad the chief called him because he had something he needed to share with him [which led to a disagreement]. I’m sure the investigator was just tickled pink to hear from the chief. The investigator just happened to be traveling in Bland so he rushed over to the magistrate to take out a warrant. Could it be that the commonwealth’s attorney in Grayson County had some sense and would not prosecute the chief for such a pansy charge? Let’s put a wager on what happens next. Sheriff Vaughan is going to come in and save Independence from the big bad wolf. He is going to offer to take over law enforcement in Independence. Of course, there will be a small fee. I wonder if Independence will be charged $40,000 a year like the charge for Fries. Let’s just hope town council sees through this and aren’t as gullible as the Town of Fries was.
Editor’s note: The sheriff’s department’s handling of police calls within the Town of Fries was a mutual decision reached between law enforcement agencies and town leaders.

Promotions questioned
At Carroll County baseball, I was just wondering why eighth graders could be pulled up to the JV team when there are ninth graders that are better. This is the reason so many boys in Carroll County quit playing. They are good athletes but they quit playing because they see that if you don’t kiss the right people, you don’t get anywhere.

Freedom of expression
I cannot believe Grayson County. If you are in with the [inner circle] then you will be okay. But, no such thing as freedom of speech there. If you go to administration or you have a question, you will be redirected to apologize for your actions. This was so wrong. The teacher was not disrespectful but just asked a question. She is a good teacher. That was not the question. She did nothing wrong. She deserves an apology for the way she was treated. She is not getting one. And she is not getting the big raise either.. These retired teachers, why do they bring them back in there with their big salaries? If you are not a young person and you cannot draw Social Security and you are not retired, why not give you a chance if you can qualify for the jobs? There are ways of saving money there, but Lord forbid, you don’t want to hear that, do you?

Animal rights discussion
I’m calling about these fox pens. Fox pens are primarily used to train young dogs and puppies. Foxes have den holes to get in when the pressure gets on them. I have never seen a foxhound fast enough to catch a fox. A greyhound is not fast enough to catch a fox. And, as far as the predators go, predators are overpopulated from coyotes to foxes to raccoons to opossums to hawks to owls. What do people have to say about these poor grouse, and hen and the grouse and quail and the hen turkeys they are trying to raise a nest of little ones and the fox comes along and runs the mother hen off the nest and eats all the eggs or kills all the little ones? Sounds like animal rights advocates — sounds to me more like they are animal rights idiots.

Using water
There seem to be a lot of jokes being made about washing cars at the Fries firehouse. Maybe if they were on a fixed income like me and struggling to pay the water bill or buy food and medicine, they wouldn’t be so quick to [use] the water that residents have to pay for. It costs the town money to treat that water.

Wrong priorities
You can see what President Obama’s priorities and beliefs are. He can stand in front of a picture of Arafat but he cannot stand in front of a cross at a Catholic college.

Sounds familiar
To add to last week’s “bad boss” [call], it does sound like a place I know. When you can cut people that have been there a long time down to part time, then turn around and put these people that have been there a year or less on full time, something is not right. As far as talking to the supervisor over her, I think he and she were fish from the same pond.

Assault weapons ban
It is time for all our senators and members of the House of Representatives to realize that we, the people, pay their salaries. We did not vote for them to vote as a bloc. Hopefully all of them have brains and can think. When 91 percent of the people support the assault weapons ban, we expect their vote for the bill. We pay them to represent us, not the NRA. Do you realize the head of the NRA makes a tremendous salary and represents gun dealers and gun manufacturers? This is the strongest lobbying group in Washington, D.C. Guns for hunting and personal protection will not be affected. Do not show your brainwashing by the NRA by replying with that song and dance. We do not expect a vote by Congress to be a vote for John Boehner’s thoughts or Harry Reid’s thoughts. We want Virginia senators Kaine and Warner to vote for one citizen, together with others in our small town in Galax. Start thinking as an individual. Can you picture a 6-year-old from Galax with 11 bullet holes in their body?
Editor’s note: We are not sure what poll you are citing regarding 91 percent supporting an assault weapons ban. A Pew Research national poll released in January showed 55 percent back a ban on assault weapons, with 40 percent opposed. Seventy-seven percent favored a federal database to track gun sales.

Attracting vermin
I don’t know about these nosy neighbors. You ought to take your trash out of your yard. Take the trash to the dump instead of having about 50 or 60 rats running around your house and letting them in everybody else’s house. Keep your rats to yourself. Clean up your yard. And, Gov. McDonnell is doing a great job.
Editor’s note: That’s quite a transition between two thoughts.

Enlightened
I’m calling in reply to the Hotline caller who criticized the Oracle Institute for hosting a class on Islam. I attended the class and learned a lot. I am a Christian and my Jesus taught me to love my enemies.