Readers' Hotline 6/26/13

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Good works
I want to thank the First Baptist Church of Independence for providing such a nice appreciation luncheon for the teachers. We all enjoyed the meal very much and sure do appreciate you all thinking of us in such a kind way.

No big deal
I’m calling regarding the printing of mug shots in The Gazette. I don’t understand why people have a problem with that. It is not like The Gazette is the only ones printing the pictures. Surely, people have more to worry about than somebody’s picture being in the paper. They might be innocent until proven guilty, but there was a reason they were arrested to begin with. We have more important things to worry about.

The Rex needs work
Glad to read in the paper about the Historic Rex Theatre being restored. I don’t think so. The ceiling overhead needs painting. We hear comments every time we are at the Rex about the overhead needing fixing and most of the comments are from people out of state. What a shame. You’d think they take in enough money every Friday night with a full house or maybe get a grant and get it done. It is a great place to go hear music.

Attract some jobs
This is about needing some jobs in Galax. Have you all forgot about anybody that is out of work that needs work? All I can see in the papers is music and art. Please get some hot jobs here. Somebody needs to try to work.

Remember the role
Recent Hotline titles, “pandering,” “curiosity” and “presumed innocence” do make a point. I do not remember seeing a picture of an acquitted person. Let’s give it some time though, a few years at least, to see if publishing photos acts as a deterrent. Remember, newspapers do more than report news. They prevent us from going miles out of our way to bridges that aren’t there and tell us when the way is clear. They publish traffic watches that might prevent us from being arrested in the first place. Newspapers prevent us from being governed by fools or worse, by publishing stupid things our elected officials do in our interest. They publish dates of meetings and public hearings. Wouldn’t Ben Franklin be proud? Isn’t that why newspapers were so popular back in his day? Maybe old Ben is smiling at our “wanted” pictures. I think Ben would have given us the bigger picture each time a person is arrested, though, maybe up to a 4 by 6, perhaps. And about yellow journalism, I think our Gazette is more red, white and blue.

Used goods
Ladies, watch your men. When she [description deleted] divorces this one, which she has been married eight times, she will have enough to have eight pallbearers at her funeral.

Permissive society
In regard to the publication of arrests, I think it is a good idea. If people will notice, part of these are repeat offenders. [Those who are convicted] are not exactly the cream of society. However, the person that has one bad night and gets arrested for DUI, just shouldn’t have done it. The only drawback I see to this situation is that the well-heeled and well-connected will probably slip through the cracks and their pictures won’t be published. Otherwise, it is a good idea. We are such a permissive society. We feel we should turn our head and say, “well, he is just having a good time” or “she had a bad day.” The majority of these people have several bad days. The only deterrent they know is the brief period of time they spend behind bars.

Concerns for the innocent
I used to look forward to getting The Gazette but now it is kind of shameful to get the paper and have all these people’s pictures on the crime page. Wait until they are found guilty and then publish their picture. That way, no innocent person will be shamed.

Didn’t order it
You may not print this, but get the word out. They call me all the time and say they are on the way to my house to set up medical alert. I didn’t order it and I don’t need it. I’m tired of them calling me. It must be some kind of scam or poor salesmanship. They shouldn’t call people that don’t order it.
Editor’s note: The calls for this service are a recording. Just hang up.

Scam caller
I got a call today from someone that said I was overdraft on my debit card by $4.61. I said, “I will go make a deposit, then.” I went over to the bank and the bank looked at my debit card and said I was in good shape. They said to always come and tell them about it. There is some kind of scam going on.

Would all the people out there calling in about pictures [of arrestees] being in the paper please shut up? You just don’t want them shown up because you don’t want to be embarrassed that it is your children or husband or wife that is accused of doing the [offenses]. They ought to put the photo in an 8-by-10. Stick it in there. Maybe they will learn their lesson. That’s what the problem is. The parents don’t want anyone to know their children are driving reckless or speeding or driving drunk or doing drugs. They want it all kept a secret. I say, if they do the crime, pay the time.

Keep the photos
I disagree with the ones that are complaining about the photos published for someone that has been arrested. A few years ago someone was breaking into our home. We knew it was a neighbor. The sheriff’s department did nothing. They didn’t even question the guy. He was finally caught in Henry County doing the same thing. If they are not guilty, there shouldn’t be a problem because everyone is going to find out one way or the other anyway. It is not done to harm the families of whoever is in there. People simply know families aren’t to blame for whatever somebody else does. I’m sorry, but if they do the crime, they should do the time. I want to thank you for putting them in there, myself. I hope soon y’all will put in that you will not be taking any more calls on the subject. I just want them all to shut up. I think you are doing a great job.

Worn-out excuse
It has been brought to light about the National Security Administration recording phone calls. Most everyone knew this already. Whistle-blower Edward Snowden just confirmed it. Snowden as well as Julian Assange of Wikileaks and Bradley Manning should be touted as heroes for their courage and integrity by exposing our evil government’s devious and should-be illegal tactics. I fear what our unscrupulous government will do to them. I pay these things called taxes. So, I am paying my government to spy on me. Of course, all the worthless politicians like Obama, Boehner and Harry Reid endorse the spying. They justify it by using the tired old excuse of “we are fighting terrorists.” The current and previous regimes have worn out this excuse. I bet there is no such thing as Al Qaeda or Taliban. I bet the government made them up so they could start wars, pass the Patriot Act and use the “we are fighting terrorists” excuse to take our rights and freedoms away. A country is only as good as its leaders. We haven’t had any leadership in the past 12 years. This coming Fourth of July, on our nation’s birthday, lower the Stars and Stripes to half-staff and mourn the loss of our once great and free country.

Good call
Thank you for the person who called 911 about the [alleged] DUI driver on a Carroll County school bus. You have saved a lot of children’s lives. I really appreciate it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Poor example
It takes a very stupid man or woman that has small children to have a boyfriend or lady friend around those small children.

Chronic pain
As a new resident of Galax, I was shocked to have a doctor tell me [how many] people in Galax were addicted to pain meds. I was transferring to a local doctor when I was rudely informed of this after much dithering on the doctor’s part. He made me feel like a criminal for asking him to be my new doctor because I have chronic pain. Needless to say, I don’t need a doctor that bad.

Eyes full
I was calling about the man [description deleted] on Front Street who is going through everybody’s yard and peeking in one of our neighbor’s windows. I hope the law gets him. I thought there is a law against peeping toms and perverts. We know who you are and maybe soon the law will pick you up.