Readers' Hotline 6/24/13

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Government lies
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I take offense that the government is listening in on phone calls. This is an invasion of privacy. If the setup had been as the government said, then, they would have gotten the Boston bombers before they could hurt people. Our government lies. It’s a good thing their name is not Pinocchio, because we would have to pay for U-Hauls to haul them around in.
Editor’s note: I hope that, if they are listening to our Hotline calls, at least they’re getting a good laugh.

Nicely done
I would like to comment on the good job Vaughan-Bassett does keeping up the outside appearance of its plant, especially keeping the banks of Chestnut Creek mowed. Good job, Vaughan-Bassett.

Think twice
I agree with the police department. When people get arrested and charged, their picture should be in the paper. They will think twice before [allegedly] getting into trouble again. Yes, I had a family member whose picture was in the paper. When he went to court, he was found innocent. But, the reason he was found innocent was because he had a good lawyer and got out of it. Most of the time, when they arrest someone, they are guilty. I don’t think the police department would go around arresting innocent people.
Editor’s note: We appreciate the support, but the situation is more complicated than either the supporters or detractors of the Arrest Reports feature perhaps realize. That complexity is why we are planning to slightly retool the arrest reports and “mug shot” photos, especially the timing of their publication. The feature isn’t going away, as long as law enforcement agencies want to participate, but we are looking at some changes. One troubling issue is people taking out false warrants on others for crimes they did not commit. Those people are still booked and photographed by police, and end up in the arrest reports alongside actual criminals. These charges are most often dropped, but not before the photo is printed in the newspaper. We are taking steps to address this.

Surge of violence?
You know where the biggest war zone is in the whole world? Right here in the United States. Every city, anymore, with Americans killing Americans. Hollywood, violence on video games, violence on movies, violence on TV. Seems like we have a love affair with violence. If violence walked in your door, you would think twice about it. You know something about this gun control stuff? Guns don’t pull their own triggers. It’s because of all the violence.
Editor’s note: It does seem like we live in a more violent society, but statistics show that the crime rate in the U.S. has been declining since the early 1990s. However, our perception of crime — influenced by increased news coverage of violence on TV, the Internet and social media; and more violence in our media — is that society as a whole is more violent. Current crimes rates are actually around the same as those in the 1960s.

Bark worse than bite?
The World Health Organization as early as 1999 found there is a link associated with long-term noise exposure above 60 decibels and hypertension. Many a dog can bark at 100 decibels. This is serious, whether it is the nuisance of one dog barking next door or loud music or yelling from the neighbor. It needs to be handled by law enforcement. It is ridiculous to suggest segregating dog noise and nuisance barking into an ordinance with no teeth and punish the victims’ suffering with unabated noise, while for weeks they jump through hoops of useless bureaucracy including finally the very intimidating business of taking your neighbor, the offender, to court. All the while, with the dog still barking, is insanity. Certainly no victim should have to suffer with the multiple ordinance violations and noise assault waiting for a court date, which could take months. Look at how other towns handle this nuisance easily and effectively. You call the police. They do their job — responding and investigating the complaint. Specifically for barking, it is stipulated a law enforcement officer witnessing five minutes of barking is enough to write the dog owner a ticket. In some cities for first offense, as much as $150 and habitual offenders do lose the privilege of owning a dog. That’s how you get your neighbors to control their noise. Period.

Bringing chaos
We need to get rid of the Tea Party. They are nothing but a mess. Everything has been chaos since they came along. They need to go back where they came from. All they do is cause problems for everybody.

Household hints
I was reading in the Hotline where salt would kill weeds. White vinegar in a spray bottle will kill them. Sometimes it might take the second spray, but not usually. And it is real easy to do.
Editor’s note: First salt, now vinegar. Are we making weed killer or salad dressing — or both?

Salt works
Regarding the environmentalist in Wednesday’s paper. Salt will guarantee that nothing will grow there in the dirt. If you have a salt block for cattle and it is not in a holder, just on the ground, no grass or weeds will grow there.

Too many phone books
I am calling about the new phone book. I absolutely cannot read the thing. The addresses and phone numbers are so small you need a magnifying glass to read it. Even with my glasses, I cannot read it. Please give us a break. For the money we are charged for our phone system, the least they can do is give us larger print. They give us a book seems every couple months. So, please don’t give us quantity. Give us quality.
Editor’s note: The primary local landline phone provider publishes a new directory once a year. Other published directories are coming from other sources.

Cigarette butts
If policemen here in Galax would start giving tickets away for littering for people that throw cigarette butts away on the street, as quick as they would throwing a chewing gun wrapper down, the City of Galax would be worth millions and millions of dollars and could lower our taxes and spend more time catching dope dealers. Instead of worrying about a little chewing gum paper. They are just getting smarty pants.

Too many chiefs
I am a life-long resident of Grayson County and I think it is a shame that anyone has not stepped up to run for supervisor in the Elk Creek District against Mrs. Sutherland. I am too old, but it is time for change. In 2002, our taxes went up 40 percent; and again, in 2010, another 60 percent. There are way too many chiefs and worriers in the local government, police department and school. We bad-mouthed Don Young when he was in office, but he did it for half the salary, half the work force and half the time. My hat’s off to him. Wake up, people.

Get ready to drive
Please, all Grayson County School Board members, get your bus license. Your service probably will be needed this school year coming up. But, be careful. If somebody passes you on double lines, be careful on who you report to. You might get a bad evaluation.

Left with little
If you actually thought the large dog cage that was in my wheelbarrow was free, it seems a big thank you would have been in order. Thank you for leaving the wheelbarrow.

The 7 o’clock news on Channel 10 is nothing but a lot of commercials.

Men, beware
There is a new breed of women going around. It seems to be men with money or small businesses. They usually have daughters. They first start dating them, then they set them up, using their daughter or daughters. Men don’t have a chance. Women are not like they used to be. All they think about is getting what they want. I know this because it happened to someone I love. It will come back to you. What goes around comes around. I am a woman. I have daughters. I would never have done this to anyone.