Readers' Hotline 5/9/11

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Too young
To the uneducated person that saw a man allowing a toddler to ride a [four-wheeler] on a secondary road, not a main highway — Webster’s dictionary defines a toddler as a child learning to walk. So, it is very doubtful that a child that small would be able to drive a Gator. Get a life.

Care for the flag
I’m calling as a disabled veteran to let everyone know how disgusted I am at the simple things I see going on. We talk about lack of patriotism, lack of respect for our country. Let’s take one little thing in particular, the American flag. There are laws and rules on the books on how to treat the American flag. When I was a child, we learned those rules in school. Part of what happened on a daily basis was taking care of the flag. Putting it up at certain times. Taking it down at certain times. One of the rules I remember is that you don’t fly the American flag in inclement weather — rain, snow, sleet, etc. But, these days, so called patriots fly the flag trying to show their patriotism and they don’t obey those rules. They don’t respect what the flag stands for. In particular, our county and government offices, our schools. They fly the flag out in front of the schools, but just like today, it is raining.
Editor’s note: Here’s a site with some helpful reminders about proper display and care of the flag — www.usflag.org/flagetiquette.html

What next?
I have a bird’s nest built on the power line that comes into the house. We called Appalachian and they said it was hard to believe there was a bird’s nest built on the power line.
Editor’s note: How long before APCo sends those birds a bill, I wonder?

Suck it up
I’m calling about the meeting they had in Grayson County. I think [County Administrator Jonathan] Sweet was correct in what he asked [school officials] about when they receive the money from the board of supervisors, what they do with it. This school superintendent is making entirely too much money for the people around here. The average salary in Grayson County is ... maybe $25,000, tops. Teachers work nine months a year and get paid for 12. I don’t think this is right. They need to suck it up a little bit and go like the people that don’t have jobs. Talking about industry, it won’t come in without good schools. There is no industry here. We don’t have anyone doing anything. When Don Young was county administrator, he got $60,000 a year. He did the job himself. Now the county has an assistant. I know you probably won’t print this, but thank you.

Savior required
To the people who are talking about different kinds of faith besides Christianity and say there are all these others kinds — I know there are several. The way I have always been taught, if it is a true religion, that it cannot be a true religion unless it has a savior. That’s what I have always heard. How can you have one without your savior? Where would you go without it?

Ask questions first
There is a local company trying to sell people on an idea to receive fresh produce. You are asked to pay for the produce up front. There is no receipt or bill showing how much produce you get per basket. How do they come up with pricing this early for the period of time they are wanting you to get these baskets, and if the price of the produce comes down during this time do you receive a rebate or something extra and ask if there is something to guarantee or show how much is in each basket giving you a price breakdown of how much you are paying for each item? If you are just paying by the basket, they could be charging you for anything they want to. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. I am just saying I think people need to ask some questions.

Use reason
In answer to “don’t meddle,” it looks like you are just plain paranoid. No one is trying to tell you when and what color to paint your shack. The idea is to keep out what you fear most in coming to Fancy Gap. I guess you are unable to understand something like that. You are so scared someone will tell you to do something that you will not use reason to discuss things that you disagree with. I am sure that McDonald’s will not come to Fancy Gap because, in spite of water and sewer coming there, in 10 years time, it will still be the rundown place that it is today.

I’m calling in regard to VDOT and “no money for roads in Grayson.” I believe if Grayson County was located closer to Richmond or Northern Virginia, they would find funds for our roads.

Where are the rabbits? It’s that time of the year again for our resident doomsdayer to come out with his anti-Christmas tree spraying story. He’s worried about where the rabbits are. I’ve got plenty of rabbits on my tree farm as well as ground hogs, squirrels, chipmunks. I can’t stand when people run their mouth about something they know nothing about. I’m holding here in my hand the instructions for chemicals sprayed on the Christmas trees. I wonder if he knows that the same stuff we spray on Christmas trees is sprayed on Brussels sprouts, celery, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, potatoes. Wonder if he eats any of those?

Be adults
After hearing all the rumors that are going around in the Grayson County School system and the Grayson County Courthouse, seems it is time for Mr. Sweet and Ms. Thomas to put their differences aside and know they are not the only two people involved in a lack of communication. Their smart slurs are uncalled for. The people of Grayson County have enough going on and do not need theirs. They are the two that need to take the pay cut and need to think about who needs a raise. It is the little people in Grayson County that gave them their big paying jobs. So, it’s time for them to take into consideration who all is involved. Why keep going with the smart remarks back and forth? Wake up, grow up and act like adults.

All new
Beg for Joe Vaughan to run again for supervisor? I hardly think so. I think Grayson County needs to clean out every supervisor that they’ve got up there … and let a new bunch of people come in and try to straighten out the mess in Independence. Just stop and look. Count your taxes. See how many less people you have living there than five years ago. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s going on. The supervisors give the superintendent of schools anything that she wants, knowing that the county can’t pay for it. So, open up your eyes, Grayson County. Put all new supervisors in there.
Editor’s note: As evidenced by the supervisors decision to provide only minimum funding for schools in 2012, it hardly seems the school system gets anything it wants. The school board had requested $5.56 million in local funds and received $5.28 million from Grayson County. Thomas said she was “extremely disappointed” in the county’s decision.

Where is it?
My wife and I recently moved to the area and take The Gazette and enjoy learning about activities. Sometimes we see articles where the location of events is not named other than the name of the establishment. We would like to see the paper ensure that at least the city is identified, street address preferably.
Editor’s note: Thanks for the suggestion. Often the address is not included if it is in reference to a prominent building, such as Crossroads Institute.

Then what?
When I picked up The Gazette today I felt like I was listening to Congress on the news. On the front page, the city manager wants to increase property taxes, when we don’t even have enough to live on and half the people have already left. I have a suggestion. Why don’t they cut their salaries in half and balance that way? If they run all the rest of the people out of town, then where are they going to get their taxes?

Time to leave
I saw in the paper that Larry Bartlett, one of the Grayson supervisors, is stepping down. It’s a good thing because we are going to replace them. He didn’t do anything for us in there. We didn’t need a new big expensive school system. We were paid for. Now look at us. The next one can go ahead and announce [he’s leaving]. It would just make us even happier in the county.
Editor’s note: So far, only one incumbent supervisor, Doug Carrico, has announced plans to seek re-election.

Double whammy
It was in The Gazette recently that the City of Galax is doing a real estate reassessment this year. Naturally, most properties will increase in value. A week later, The Gazette reported that the city proposed [an 8.8 percent] tax increase on real estate values. What a shammy and double whammy. Shame on you. What’s a poor man to do?
Editor’s note: The city’s position is that the real estate tax rate has been neutral for 20 years, while expenses have grown.

Low ridership
Grayson County has one of the biggest buses hauling about 10 kids from Fries to Providence, and then every evening they’ve got another bus that runs from Independence to Fries and picks up three kids. Just three kids. Now that really makes a whole lot of sense. Those big buses ought to be packed — as high as fuel is — but the biggest bus makes that trip twice a day. Just a waste of our money. Sure hope you print it, but I bet you won’t.
Editor’s note: We’ll take that bet. Also, it’s possible that a fully loaded bus with 64 kids would consume more fuel, due to the increased weight, than a lighter load of three kids.

Nobody’s fooled
I read the Hotline so I might learn who my fellow neighbors are. As I see it, we have a school that would rather carry the devil’s name than carry God’s law and expect children to respect themselves and their parents and teachers. We have a county that covets what its neighbor has and wants to take all it has. We have false teachers that want to tell everyone to ignore the Bible and the law and pick a day to worship but put a sign in your yard with the commandments and pray. They will take what you give them if it is enough to pay for them not to get involved in their church family’s business of domestic violence, drunkenness, adultery, child abuse and so on. That is their job to watch over the flock, not gamble with poker rides on motorcycles. With all the devastation in the world, it will rain on the wicked and the righteous, both alike. We fool no one, especially our God.

Living in sin
It’s amazing how a couple could go to church and one is still married and the other is divorced. Y’all living together yet y’all going to church and being in sin. Excuse me, what’s going on here? You swear up and down in court that you are telling the truth but you are lying on the Bible.

Nosy neighbor
This is for the nosy neighbor that seems to be so worried about my bills and how they are going to get paid. Mind your own business and stop telling other neighbors about my financial situation and what’s going on in my life. Things will be taken care of soon enough. I don’t worry about your finances and what’s going on in your life or going telling other people things that you asked me not to before. I deserve the same in return. Mind your own business and stop worrying about mine.

A shame
I was traveling on U.S. 52 and passed by the old Allen home place. This is just a shame that the house is in such disrepair and needs a paint job so bad. It’s listed in the historical records as being a landmark site. It’s just a rotten shame that authorities of the day back when the tragedy happened stole this property from him, and then all these years later they have the nerve to declare it a historical landmark but the historical society won’t keep the property up. It’s just an ironic, dirty shame. Disgusting, actually.

Easy to tarnish
I’m calling on behalf of “how can this happen.” How can two upstanding law-abiding citizens be victim of a vicious lie of rumors through the court system. The grand jury can indict somebody without any physical evidence with just evidence of the word of two or three people who are felons and tarnish the good word and names and reputations of honest people. I thought you were innocent until proven guilty, however the grand jury decides you are guilty until proven innocent.
Editor’s note: A grand jury decides whether to issue an indictment, which is a formal charge and not a determination of guilt.