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Readers' Hotline 7/18/12

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It’s your responsibility
I’m calling in regard to “hire a lawyer.” Yes, you do have to pay your back child support whether you get custody of your kids or not. It is your responsibility. It is what you already owed before you had custody of the kids. So, yes, you do still have to pay your back child support.

Bad math
I think the [increased meals tax in Galax] on eat-out food is ridiculous. I thought it was just a 7.5 percent increase, but according to the [sign on] McDonald’s door, a rate of 7.5 percent equals a 12.5 percent increase. That’s just too much. I can eat somewhere besides Galax.
Editor’s note: The city did not increase its meals tax by 7.5 percent, it increased the tax rate from 5 percent to 7.5 percent as of July 1. We’re not sure how McDonald’s is doing the math, but the TOTAL meals tax in Galax — state and local rates combined — equals 12.5 percent. That isn’t a 12.5 percent increase, it’s merely the total rate.

It ain’t easy
This is to the person that called last week about seniors drawing Social Security and getting discounts and they were having to make house payments and pay child care. We did all that, too. We worked hard and we got out there and we tried our best to make a go of it. Now, we find that it is just as hard to make it on Social Security, even if we get a few discounts. All you want to do is just complain about us. Maybe one day if you work hard and live long enough you will be able to draw your Social Security and get discounts, too, and you will see just how hard it is to make it.

Looking shabby
It’s a shame, the condition of Monta Vista Cemetery. I am ashamed of how my plot and marker looks, all covered with grass and looks like it is never mowed. Something needs to be done.

Taking away freedoms
Don’t listen to what Obama says. Look at what he does. He gives away to the U.N. He wants to destroy the America we love. He creates jobs for government work. Cancels the National Day of Prayer. The Obama administration is taking away our freedom — our rights, our hard earned money. He does not stop illegal immigration, but gives them more rights, wants to give amnesty so they can vote for him in November. What else is going to happen? We need a strong voice in Washington fighting for lower taxes, limited government, traditional values and strong national defense.
Editor’s note: The caller is incorrect about one point — President Obama issued a proclamation observing May 3 as America’s annual National Day of Prayer.

Had enough
I don’t recall any member of Town Council in Fries saying they would not allow golf carts just to get elected. The Fries High School website should just shut up about it.

Hurry up and leave
I went to a pharmacy to get some things and the lady there said I only had five minutes so I had to hurriedly rush through and get my items. As I was leaving, the lady had already locked the door and let some other customers in. I don’t think that was right. If you say you close at 9, then you shouldn’t let other people in. I can go elsewhere. That is ridiculous.

Poor taste headline
The July 9 headline read, “School board dismisses teacher.” The article pertained to new appointments for summer school and the upcoming school year, not the Mark Osborne dismissal. We have all read enough about the Osborne dismissal. He is not even employed by the school system now. I wish your paper would quit crucifying people in the community. Let’s focus on positive. Grayson County needs positive for a change. Don’t you agree?
Editor’s note: Osborne’s dismissal was part of the personnel action taken at the Grayson School Board’s June meeting and was included as the lead item in an article that also reported other hiring action. This was the first time The Gazette had reported his dismissal from the school system. Our only other story on the subject was reporting that Osborne was on paid leave after his indictment on a charge of soliciting a minor child for illegal acts.

Strained by the cost
How dare Appalachian ask for another increase. They said they would make a profit even after they paid for it. Why lay it on the backs of customers? They want all the money and everything paid for. We ought to bring in a new company and get some competition going. I just don’t see how people are going to make it. Utility workers make more in an hour than most people in Galax make in a day.
Editor’s note: It’s not fair to blame utility workers for the situation. After the recent storm damage, it should be clear that they work hard for whatever they are paid. In April, American Electric Power Co., the parent company of Appalachian, reported its first-quarter earnings rose by more than 10 percent. The Columbus, Ohio-based company said that its net income rose to $389 million, or 80 cents per share in the January-to-March period, compared with $353 million, or 73 cents per share, a year earlier.

Try roughing it
I’d like to speak to whoever put that in about appreciation of the Appalachian Power workers. They chose that for a job. I know it’s hard and I know it’s dangerous but it is not more than truck driving or sawmill work or farming or whatever. They are going to go up on our electrical bills. If you’ve got all these modern appliances, you need to get rid of them. Get you a good spring and wood cookstove and lamplight so you will be ready for the power to go out. Take a bath in the branch. Good branch bath is good for you. Fresher than any metal water you can buy. Just live in the old days for a little while and see how modern you think you really are.
Editor’s note: Modern communication devices, at least a touch-tone phone, are still needed to contact The Hotline. Meanwhile, feel free to enjoy the paper by candlelight.

All the glory
I am calling about fairness from the Galax Rec Center over the Dixie Minors. It’s a little convenient that it’s always the same 10-11 kids that’s always on the travel team. They need to check for other players. It’s not fair these same kids get all the glory and all the other kids that work just as hard don’t get anything but a $2 medal.

For our older readers
Typical Gazette editorial cuteness. Millard Fillmore, Chester Arthur. Whose lifetime, alive today, as the caller was, did they live in? Dummies.
Editor’s note: It was The Gazette’s lifetime. We were born in 1876, making us 136 years old. In our advanced age, the memory becomes foggy when recalling our underappreciated former Commanders in Chief. While we have fond memories of Chester A. Arthur’s presidency from 1881-1885, you’re correct that Fillmore (the POTUS from 1850-1853) was before our time.

Knocking on Heaven’s door
I’m calling about the fireworks they put off in Galax around the Fourth of July. They were beautiful. Another thing tells me I just don’t think it is right. Galax shouldn’t do things like that — I’m a Christian man and I’ve been to church 15 times in the last 15 years and I love the Lord and I think people putting that off and shooting fireworks up there trying to get His attention. That’s no way to be, to shoot stuff up in the sky and pollute to get God to talk to them. I think you have to go to church to talk to the Lord.