Readers' Hotline 6/27/11

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Speeding on Epworth
I’m calling about the story I read in The Gazette about the dangerous roads in Carroll County. It talked about Epworth Road in Cana. It’s real dangerous, but talk is cheap. If they would patrol this road and slow the people down to the speed limit, it wouldn’t be so dangerous. It is hard to even go to your mailbox.

Send a bill
I think it is a great idea, whoever called about the people that own the land adjacent to the road, that they need to be the ones in the county, as well as the city, to keep it mowed along the highway. The county and city spend too much money on doing this for people and if the people don’t want to do it, let the county send them bills. Let the county charge to cut it for them. It ought to be implemented quickly.

Wants regulation
They just don’t get it — our congressmen — that the less EPA regulation, the more contamination and poison is pumped into the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. The more poison we consume, the sicker we get and the quicker we die. What’s more important, Rep. Griffith? The health and well-being of citizens of this country or big profits for big business? What good is all the money in the world if we are sick or die before we can spend it?

Top of the class
In response to the letter about the pre-employment program for deputies, I [disagree] that because a person has the ability to pay his or her own way through the basic law enforcement academy that he or she possesses initiative, commitment and has made sacrifices. It is disrespectful to say congratulations to recent graduates and then completely discount their efforts by implying they have none of these characteristics since they did not pay for their training. According to previous articles, the two candidates that the sheriff hired graduated at the top of their class.

Not so cheap
Just wondering after reading the letter to the editor from Mark Burnett — who paid for his school when he was a deputy? Not everyone can afford to quit their jobs and put themselves through an academy with a family.
Editor’s note: No more calls will be published about this matter. This is veering into political campaign-related commentary, which is not appropriate for the Hotline. Submit signed letters to the editor if you wish to continue the debate, please.
Unneeded project
If you think four-laning U.S. 58 was a waste of money, I invite you to come to Route 620, Coulson Church Road, off of Interstate 77 and check out the proposal of widening 620 east because of Wildwood development. This is an unneeded road project that is going to cost $5.6 million. Now this is a waste of money.

Come on down
In response to the bingo comments in the Hotline — the VFW in Hillsville has great bingo every Thursday night at 7. If you come out there, I guarantee you will be treated with respect and dignity.

Fishing woes
I just wanted to make a comment about the fishing fees going up to $9 at Crooked Creek. I have been there three days straight and where I fish, there is not a thing in there. They are not stocking right. You can’t go anywhere else because of all the men wading the waters. You can’t even get in edgewise to try to fish. No more [fish] than they are putting in there, I haven’t caught a thing because there is nothing in it. But, if they think I am going to pay $9 July 1 to fish, they’ve got another thing coming. Because $6.50 is too much for no more than they put in there.

Slipping scores
I read in your paper where many of Carroll County schools did not meet federal requirements this year for testing. I find it amazing that the school board’s answer for this is to pass a resolution declaring the tests are wrong. We need some change, but it is not the tests. It is in the administrators. When you have schools that were previously accredited that are now no longer accredited, the school board ought to take a close look and be making changes fast. Carroll County High School is one of the best examples. Test scores, as I understand it, have continuously gone down of the past two years. We have to get this right. This is for our children.
Editor’s note: The resolution had more to do with an impending federal requirement for 100 percent pass rates on tests — which educators felt was unrealistic and unattainable — than with the current test scores. Both Grayson and Galax school boards signed the resolution, as did many other school boards throughout Virginia.

Job well done
I’m calling once again to give kudos to the Fries trash pickup people. They do a marvelous job and are a good example for all people who work, who are fortunate enough to have a job. If everybody worked as hard as they do doing something honest, we wouldn’t have the drug problem we’ve got now. The government is supporting people that will not work for whatever reason. This is not right. I also agree with Mark Burnett in the letter to the editor about the deputies. I hope that they are trained because we’ve got lots of drug problems in this area and they don’t seem to be getting any better.

No heart
I was saddened, but not surprised, to read about the story of what happened to Toby, the dog at the Galax Animal Shelter. I was told, “no one wants to adopt large dogs.” Do they even try to find homes for any of these shelter animals? Why not have volunteers? I will never again help the animal shelter with a money donation. It saddens me that Galax wants us to donate to foreign dopeheads and we can’t even help man’s best friend. You can bet when “Strings and Things” comes to Galax, I will be telling everyone about Toby. I’m sure there are animal lovers that will be there. Shame on Galax — a little town with absolutely no heart.
Editor’s note: If the “foreign dopeheads” you’re talking about refers to Galax First Baptist Church’s efforts to help recovering addicts in Costa Rica, then that’s a bit insensitive to their humanitarian effort. And it’s also unfair to say “Galax” has no heart. Say what you will about the animal shelter’s policies, but is through the efforts of some local volunteers with big hearts that many animals are being rescued from the shelter and placed in loving homes.

Could be worse
I’m also a senior citizen and I am not crazy about Obama, but if you think he is bad, wait until you get a Tea Party person in there. We won’t have to worry about buying gas because our Social Security checks are gone, our health insurance gone, and all we have is maybe an $8,000 voucher that wouldn’t pay for one week in a hospital with surgery. So, I don’t know. I hope not, but I’m afraid things are going to go from bad to worse.

Cash up front
This is for the doctors that have no heart for people who don’t have insurance and no money. I went to a doctor and was told I had to have cash up front. So, I did. I wanted my prescriptions filled. That’s the only thing I went for. I was charged an outrageous price and then was told to find another doctor, that they were tired of fooling with me because I have no insurance. My husband lost his job a little over two years ago and that killed our insurance the same day. Now we don’t have insurance, no nothing, but my husband finally got old enough to draw Social Security, so at least he’s got Medicare. I have nothing.