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Readers' Hotline 8/5/13

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Speed trap
After you drive through Galax a few times you are going to have to go have your brakes lined. The focus should be on breaking and enterings and drug problems we have in Galax instead of setting a speed trap for everybody. Try making 25 mph going down a hill and see if your speed doesn't pick up and then you have a police officer waiting there to pull you over to write you up. Oh, but I forgot, Galax is supposed to be such a safety place. Well, good luck.

Put to a vote
I read the Hotline call concerning the judge in the courtroom and had an experience that makes sense to me now. As I was standing out in the hallway waiting to enter the courtroom, I overheard the conversation between some men of questionable character that were describing the charges they were there for. After discussing which judge would be hearing the case, one man replied to the other, "you don't have anything to worry about. That judge doesn't like the cops, either." What a shame for our community. I agree, judges should be elected, not appointed.

SOLs not needed
The school system needs to go back to regular learning. Kids and the teachers need to have a little common sense. All these Standards of Learning tests are not worth [it]. They don't need them. Kids learn and they need to take tests out of books. They don't need SOLs. It's hard on kids. Teachers need to take it too. Teachers need to take an SOLs test. Need to go back to common sense.

How’s that work?
This is a return call to which I had asked about assistance for people that just moved to the area. I know other states are in the U.S., but from my understanding, the places like the hospital and other places, the assistance only goes for Galax and the surrounding areas. I was just wondering how people could move here from way off and get assistance in a month or two.

Big markup
I'd like to know why people are at [a retail store] buying ammunition and then re-selling it for double the price. I think this should be reported to the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Work, or else
I'm calling about “annoying neighborhood.” i agree with some of the things they said and I disagree with some of it. Some people need the low-income housing and stuff. But, what I agree with is that some people get so much assistance they don't try to work and they won't try to do on their own. And the people that do try to work and do try to make a living for their family cannot get assistance at all. I don't think it is right. I think it should be the other way around. If you work, you should get some kind of assistance and if you don't work, I don't think they should get anything.

Doctor’s orders
I'd like to know when it became law that a doctor could talk to you about smoking and then you get a bill for $20. They charge you for telling you that you need to quit smoking. I just wonder if this is legal or not. I don't think that should happen.

Why stop it?
Why would anyone want to stop Obamacare? Starting Oct. 1, your insurance premiums will be cut in half. And pre-existing conditions will be covered.
Editor’s note: Such a reduced rate will apply for many New Yorkers who purchase insurance as individuals (rather than coverage through an employer), in a state where health care costs are 18 percent higher than nationally, but is not expected to be mirrored in many other states, according to CNN. Opponents of Obamacare say that rates could more than double for some people, depending on their age demographic.

Prices compared
I was calling about the senior coupons to go to the farmers‚ market. We received those, but when we go to the market, we find that the prices on produce are anywhere from 30 cents to 70 cents a pound higher. I would like someone to explain to me why prices are so much higher than they are in the grocery store. This is ripping the government off, and the taxpayers.

Out of reach
I have been wondering about this because I am a handicapped person. We have the handicapped spaces and then the shopping carts are always far off and father down away from it and when you are handicapped, this makes it hard. I don't know if the store owners have thought about that.

Parental rights
I wonder what it would take to get a parent’s rights removed around here. You have all these deadbeat moms and dads, who can't even pay child support, to make up excuses for illnesses for why they can't work so they don't have to pay child support. They have not seen their kids in over three years. The law should be changed in cases to have parents rights removed, especially when they are a drug addict.

Try Grayson park
Responding about Randolph Park in Pulaski, saying there is no swimming here without going to Randolph. Evidently they haven't looked at the Grayson County park. Has anybody been up there lately? They have made a lot of improvements. Good place to go.

Poor impression
In response to the Hotline article last week regarding who's lying, saying Republicans are lying because the reader read on Facebook that the national debt had been cut by 30 percent and that unemployment was falling — they need to look up on the government’s own website. The national debt has never been cut by 30 percent, ever, anywhere. It hasn't been cut at all, it has continued for us. And, the unemployment numbers, if you look up under the labor statistics, you will see that we have less jobs now than we had six years ago. It is embarrassing that someone passing through town might pick up a newspaper and think the people in Galax are that dumb. And, I am ashamed you guys didn't make a correction to that or some kind of footnote to let people know that the Hotline caller was incorrect.
Editor’s note: We can find no credible reporting that the national debt has been cut by 30 percent in recent times. From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for June: “The number of unemployed persons, at 11.8 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.6 percent, were unchanged in June. Both measures have shown little change since February." And a July update reported Aug. 2 by CNN Money: “The U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in July, falling below forecasts. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney had predicted employers would add 180,000 jobs.  July's job growth was also below the average monthly gains over the past year. Revisions to June and May figures also show that the economy added 26,000 fewer jobs than originally reported. Meanwhile, both weekly hours and earnings fell slightly.  The unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.4%, as 37,000 people dropped out of the labor force.”

Sitting around
This is a message about the Grayson County pool really needing attention. The lifeguards all want to sit around and talk and buddy-buddy. I went to the window and asked for a manager and there was no manager there. I asked for the director. There was no director there. I paid my way in and paid for my child also. Then my child's floatie got busted. There was a lady there that offered my money back for the float, but it was not the money. It was the point that my child is three years old. If you take your child up there and drop it off, you are a better person than me.

Doing nothing
Talking about the truck route and people needing help, I agree. But, I am a disabled widow living close to the high school and two years ago the engineer destroyed my yard completely. I have redone my yard three times. I can't afford to do the driveway anymore. If you ask the school, they say it is the city's fault or place. If you ask the city, they say it is the school’s. Nobody does anything. I don't think it is right. Also, my property taxes went up but the value of the property went down and I think that is why, because the way it looks and I had no part in destroying it. I don't think with the taxes we pay and I have lived here 21 years and the driveway and yard was fine until that was happening up there. I don't think it's right.