Readers' Hotline 7/16/12

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Many thanks
I have a Good Samaritan story. My husband and I were traveling Saturday June 30 — a very hot day — from Martinsville to Fries. Our car broke down in Hillsville at the intersection of 58 and I-77. We were assisted all afternoon by Randy Wilson, Donald Wilson and Ricky Wilson. They repaired our car, got us on the road. We can’t thank them enough for helping us out. When they stopped to help, they didn’t know we were friends. They just made a goodwill gesture. We live in Spencer, Va.

Can’t find it
Will the person that put the item in about all the seniors getting free stuff please put a list of places where they can get all the free stuff. I, as a senior, have not found any free stuff. Plus, if they had to live on the checks that the people on Social Security get, they would have to figure out a way to stretch their money all month, and it doesn’t stretch all month.

Debt of gratitude
It is past time for the board of supervisors to realize just how bad the drugs, domestic disputes and gang wars are in Grayson County. It is definitely not the peacefully quiet area we have enjoyed living in until just a few years ago. Today we have a sheriff’s department that is very active in a county of over 400 square miles, leaving their homes and families every day to protect us. They work long, hard hours with a minimum of help and limited funding from the county. These men put their lives on the line every day so the rest of us can be safe in our homes, jobs and travel. The recent shooting of Deputy Doug Waller should be a wake-up call for the county to support these men. We owe each of them a debt of gratitude for the outstanding job they do. Grayson has one of the best departments in Southwest Virginia. Let’s do all we can to keep them safe so they can go home to their families at the end of their shift.
Editor’s note: Deputy Waller is recovering at home from a gunshot wound he sustained in the line of duty last month.

The worst
This election is becoming a freak show. You can’t believe either side. Whoever becomes president, it will be bought and paid for with the most money. We need someone that cares about the people. Neither side seems to do that. I don’t care what they promise and say they will do. Once they are in there, they don’t do it. I don’t care which one they are. I have lived a long time and I’ve seen this happen and this is the worst. If America had all the billions wasted from arguing back and forth, we wouldn’t have any debt.

The view at Hebron
The “obstructed view” call said for drivers to beware any drivers coming down Hebron Road. That has nothing to do with the house up in the field. The boulder has been there for umpteen years. I was born and raised in Hebron and the eyesore is looking at the old barns about to fall down and the donkeys in the field. Don’t just look at the rock. Look up on the porch. There are pretty flowers hanging. Are they eyesores too? You have a good day.

Aging infrastructure
The recent loss of electric power should be an awakening to what happens when our infrastructure is so old and the politicians say, “no, no, no to fixing this.” Electric poles, towers of all kinds, 200-year-old trees — they are all getting old and they are all being toppled down. When are we going to start doing something for this country?
Editor’s note: Doing something to address these problems would require Appalachian Power to spend a great deal of money, which could be passed along to customers. Consider this: recovering from a December 2009 snowstorm cost APCo. about $25 million, and the company sought a rate increase that was approved by the State Corporation Commission. As a result, the average residential customer is being billed an additional 35 cents a month over the course of five years. That was for a storm that knocked out power to 46,000 of Appalachian’s Virginia customers — about one-fifth of the total affected by the recent storms. Not that the infrastructure doesn’t need fixing, but are electrical customers willing to pay for it?

Who’s running the show?
People really should try to read and educate themselves more. Some adults know less than their fifth grade children about our system of federal government. The problem isn’t Obama and it isn’t even so much Republicans vs. Democrats. Since passage of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, staffers have taken over Capitol Hill. Political action committees dominate congress. Staffers aren’t elected and sometimes they aren’t even vetted. They, not our elected officials, meet with the over 20,000 registered lobbyists in D.C. and many of them are easily influenced. Get to know your legislators. Push for term limits, campaign finance reform, a flat tax and things that matter. And, for gosh sakes, quit complaining.

Excessive litigation
The U.S. Supreme Court is a joke. The EPA is a joke. The ACLU is a joke. Lawyers are getting fatter pockets because of our stupidity and greed. Suing is the new American pastime. Anybody laughing?

Fireworks question
What was the deal on the Galax fireworks? If there was a law, how come all the other cities in the area were letting their fireworks off for July 4?
Editor’s note: This year, new state regulations required the Galax Volunteer Fire Department to hire an individual certified in shooting pyrotechnics to be on site. Galax Fire Chief David Hankley said the department hired a certified pyrotechnician from the company where it purchases fireworks each year. Hankley said the company did the fire department a favor by providing the fireworks technician at a discounted rate. But, because of the technician’s schedule during the July 4 week, he was only able to be in Galax on June 30. Other localities in the area already had certified pyrotechnicians or were able to schedule someone to be there July 4.

Unfair comparison
I have been a citizen of Galax for over 40 years and during all that time the Galax Volunteer Fire Department has done an exemplary job. They save property. They save lives and I understand that they need projects throughout the year to pay for their expenses. And, over the years, they have had great firework displays. But, I just came back from watching Hillsville’s fireworks and I would rate [Hillsville’s better].  Why cannot the City of Galax and businesses and organizations pitch in to a firework display fund and have a better fireworks display during the carnival week each year?
Editor’s note: It just comes down to how much each fireworks sponsor is able and willing to spend. The Town of Hillsville pays for its fireworks display as part of a day-long celebration on July 4, while the Galax Volunteer Fire Department pays for its own fireworks, along with a week-long carnival and other activities. It’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison.

My light bill has completely doubled. The property taxes go up every year and the water bill used to be every three months and now it is the same price for two months. So, I think when you go through all that, you will die quickly.

Family feud
I would like to give a big sarcastic “thank you” to my so-called family. During recent severe storms, I lost electricity and phone service. I had enough gas in my vehicle to get to the local country store, which had no power so I could not get gas. I have eight family members that live 10 miles away that did not lose their power. Within 24 hours, they knew the situation I was in. They could have offered to at least store the food I had in my freezer or even offered some water. I lost over $350 in food. Power is back on but my refrigerator and freezer are empty. My so-called family has at least 12 vehicles combined and all of them couldn’t have been out of gas. One of them even has a generator. So, thank you for not helping me. One day you might need help and I just might return the favor.

False friends
Beware of false friends. This is to people who are supposed to be friends to others but they are not. They want you to be sympathetic for them whenever they need it, but when someone needs help, they will forget about the ones that thought of them all the time. If you call or text them to check on them and see how they are doing, if you are lucky, you might get an answer. To me, that is being disrespectful and not a true friend. To me, a true friend will always be there when other friends need them and will answer their messages and will call it. A couple old sayings: you reap what you sow, and what goes around comes around. Just remember that the next time you want to be a true friend.

Looks bad
My sister-in-law from Wilkesboro, N.C., came to visit and got hit by another vehicle. The emergency worker treated her badly and I think that looks bad.

Not our problem
I watched the news about Appalachian Power, about where they are going to pass the cost of this storm on to the consumers. Well, the consumers didn’t cause the storm. God is in control of all the weather. His people don’t have anything to do with it. Maybe they are trying to tell Appalachian something. All the people on Social Security can’t keep paying for more raises for Appalachian. Tell them to turn it in on their taxes. You may not print this, but it is the truth.