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Readers' Hotline 5/28/14

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Blames Republicans
Everyone knows the reason that Veterans Affairs is in such a mess and behind is because the Republican Congress cut their funding. They don’t have enough people to work with the thousands of veterans. Also, they blocked the funding in 2011 and 2012 that Hillary Clinton asked for for Benghazi. She asked for more funding for more security. Then, the people are just trying to blame it on the wrong ones, looks to me like.
Editor’s note: The Washington Post reported in February that the far-reaching Veterans Affairs bill failed to garner enough Republican votes in the U.S. Senate to waive a spending limit established under the budget that Congress and President Obama approved in December. Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.), the ranking Republican on the panel, said on the Senate floor that the bill would not provide resources for program expansions to happen without more frustration and delays for veterans already in the network, the Post reported: “We have veterans dying from long waits for basic, necessary tests like colonoscopies. Veterans waiting for their disability claims to be processed know all about frustrations and delays at the V.A., and adding more individuals to an already broken system doesn’t seem wise.” Regarding the claim that Congressional funding affected security in Benghazi, the Washington Post published a fact-checker blog last year that found otherwise: “State Department officials repeatedly told Congress that a lack of funds was not an issue. Instead, security was hampered because of bureaucratic issues and management failures. In other words, given the internal failures, no amount of money for the State Department likely would have made a difference in this tragedy.”

Poker parking
I think if I was in that group of women that goes downtown to play cards in the café for hours at a time that I would have the courtesy to park in [a different parking lot]. It is hard for the rest of us that want to shop to find parking.

Welcome
Welcome to our new grocery store. We are glad that you are here. Thanks for the same friendly, helpful atmosphere that our former Kroger store extended.

Customer appreciation
I agree with that caller a couple of weeks ago about these family-owned businesses. There are other places in town to buy supplies from than just one store. We have a chain store where they seem to appreciate my business.

Opposed to handouts
I was reading about the people is hungry and starving in Galax. You better check on that again. I know people that are on welfare and food stamps and a lot of them are young people. They don’t want to work. I hear one remark in a store one time, “I can’t apply for a job because I have to have a drug test.” There is nothing wrong with them. They draw food stamps, help, welfare, yet you can see them in just about every bingo hall … and a lot of them are bigger and healthier looking than the people that don’t have food stamps. So, don’t come up with people are starving in Galax. I believe in helping the old people that are hungry, but these young people that are too dang sorry to get out and work because they have to take a drug test they know they will fail it, and then want people to hand out to them — no, they won’t get one penny from me. Social Services should make them do a check on it and give them a certain amount of time to find a job.
Editor’s note: A lot of those going hungry are children, regardless of whether their parents deserve handouts in your opinion. Should those kids not be counted in the statistics?

Skeptical
Galax going hungry? You need to be in the grocery store when the food stamps drop down. People need to be checking in to these people that are getting food stamps. They act like they are only good for one day. You cannot get in the store for all these food stamp people. Nobody in Galax is going hungry. Somebody needs to check this out.

Washington money
Scare tactics about [effects on] the hospital if we don’t take Washington’s plan for Medicaid expansion, is pretty low. Let’s just do like city council wants and take all the money Washington will send our way. Of course, some of us know where Washington gets its money and our pockets are almost empty.

Food stamp increase
In response to the 3,670 people going hungry locally, in the last few years, the food stamp population has more than doubled. Why do we still have people going hungry when 50 percent more people on top of the other people are getting food stamps? Where is that money going?
Editor’s note: The caller’s data are not specific as to locations and years compared. The U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that the number of food stamp recipients in Virginia grew by 44.4 percent from 2009 to 2013. In our Ninth Congressional District, 14.7 percent of households received food stamps, according to a USDA report from July 2013.

Taking a risk
I can’t understand to save my life why the American people want to go down in Mexico. Don’t they know they are going to find some reason to lock them up?

How selfish
Well, the Republicans have struck again. Now, we may lose our hospital, our doctors and everything. The Republicans fear they won’t have the money or too much waste. They don’t care about the people who are hurting in Galax and now it says thousands are even hungry on account of they are cutting down the food stamp program. How selfish is that?
Editor’s note: Many of Virginia’s Republican state legislators oppose Medicaid expansion, due to their doubts about the federal government’s ability to pay most of the $2 billion-a-year cost and stressing the need to first rein in the existing Medicaid program, according to The Washington Post. Proponents of the expansion say it will benefit local hospitals that need the revenue for care associated with Medicaid patients.

What we said
How about printing what is called in. I said everybody knows that George W. Bush was the worst president and they turned it around and said if you said that Carter was worse than George Bush, that would be an insult. Or anyway, when you made the comment that Obama was worse than Jimmy Carter, that is not what we said. We said George Bush was the worst president, not Obama. We did not say it this way. This is turned completely around.
Editor’s note: Our typist reports that you have a female voice, yet the comments you claim were changed were made by a male caller. They appear to have been different calls altogether. Nothing was changed.

Try to get along
Just reading all this stuff here about churches — the people won’t speak to them if the people are a certain party, and another was discriminated against because they are handicapped. What kind of place is this world getting to be? We are definitely living in the last days. Discriminating against the handicapped reminds me of a song where someone wanted to sing in the choir and they wouldn’t let him sing and now he is singing in a heavenly choir. If we can’t speak and get along down here, how do we expect to get to heaven, is what I would like to know.

Control your cans
City officials demand garbage containers have secured lids or they don’t pick up the garbage. Crows are smart and greedy. Streets are unsanitary from their unsightly pickings. Please control your garbage cans.

Pipeline concerns
Why would Sen. Harry Reid want to have a vote on something the oil companies owned by the Koch brothers who want to build the Keystone Pipeline so they can send the oil overseas, take more jobs away from over here. I don’t understand. Another one of those lines broke and threw out poisons in the air and water and everywhere. Doesn’t anyone care about our kids and grandchildren anymore, or the future?

Sources of food
This is in response to going hungry locally, as reported in The Gazette. What happened to food stamps from the local social services if you qualify? Also, food banks are available and churches are very helpful if people are hungry. Summer jobs are plentiful right now for what you need and what you want and my kids do it every year. Also, we plant a garden. Just saying.

Model citizen
Yesterday I had the honor of meeting an angel – well, he was to me. My car got stuck on rocks on one side of a rough, narrow driveway and I couldn’t go in either direction and was even afraid to get out of the car. But, I had to and knew nothing to do but call AAA. A young man saw me and came to help. He said he could pull me out. And, an older gentleman had a strap in his truck to hook to both cars. All I had to do was steer the car. I was so shaken I couldn’t even do that, so another young man steered my car and it was pulled to safety with no damage done. I could not even get the young angel to take a penny of money. What a model for all young people and old, too, for that matter. My sincere thanks to all who helped.