Readers' Hotline 8/6/12

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Guidance needed
On the issue of choosing a new police chief for Hillsville and comments like “never heard of this” [using an expert panel of law enforcement officials to help pick a police chief] the fact that it has been 10 years since hiring a police chief and no one sitting on town council now has ever hired a leader for the police department are good indicators of the need for help and guidance on this. This issue blindsided the new mayor? What issue? That the police chief position was vacant or that Hillsville was above accepting outside help? An objective board of law enforcement — not of this area — to help choose a new police chief for Hillsville sounds like a good idea. Unless, of course, we are intending to replace one good ole boys club with another.

The big chill
Who would have thought with a town like Fries that this little town would be such a hotbed of controversy? Can someone in the know there in The Gazette give us the Cliff Notes version of what the heck is going on? I feel all frozen out of the facts and every time I open the paper, Fries-ians are fussing and fighting and I’m just not sure what the cause of this big chill actually is. Maybe it’s time to call in Batman to tame the villainous Mr. Fries, whoever he is, and restore some order and goodwill to this cool little town.
Editor’s note: We kind of hate to admit this, but we don’t really understand all the underlying issues behind the Fries calls and comments, either. The calls often reference vague issues and rarely refer to anyone by name. The following calls are good examples:

Turned off
All you folks who are graduates of Fries High School, just beware the website is [being used for a vendetta]. Right now the topic is the new law about the Fries golf cart. Also, one of our senior citizens, at a formal meeting, made the comment that she would like to have one. So now, they are treating her like it was her fault that the town passed it altogether. Several people have just deleted the website from their computer. Let them know the website is not there for this purpose.

Keep it neutral
The Fries High School website has become trash. I used to love it. Looked at it to see great pictures and updates on people such as obituaries, prayer requests, birthdays. I respect the woman owner who does not contribute to such ranting. She keeps it neutral as any respectful owner of this type of information site should. It should be illegal for such ranting to be displayed on a site that uses the Fries logo of a Wildcat and the name of Fries High School. It is humiliating to the good citizens of Fries and Fries High alumni. It has become a joke. What a shame to have ruined what started out to be a great concept.

Stop bashing
I totally agree with the caller about the Fries website being run from another place. The website should be about high school news, not to bash people you don’t even know. It’s time you got a life. If you can’t find anything to do, then I know a lot of elderly that could use a helping hand. Quit being busybodies and do something prosperous.

Never fixed
My yard is destroyed again. Property taxes go up every year and then the value of the property went down because of all this mess up here next to the high school that is never fixed. I don’t think they ought to sit around and then we are out all this money and don’t have any money to fix it and they still don’t do anything. If you ask one, they say it’s somebody else’s fault and if you go to that one they say, “no it’s not ours, it’s theirs.”

Socialist state
Obama wants to change America into a socialist state. He wants to micromanage every aspect of your life. The IRS will take most of whatever you earn to spend on whatever Obama wants. They are giving millions of our dollars to every country in the world except Canada. ABC, NBC and CBS operate in sync with Obama’s re-election campaign. You will hear no truth from them. Behind Obama’s smile is zero respect for our constitution, our liberty and our religious and moral values that made America great. [Many] Americans get government checks, pay no taxes and will vote for him. Get on your knees and pray to God to forgive us of our sins and heal our country. In November get out and vote Obama out.

Highly doubtful
It should be clear to anybody, the real reason why three town council members voted not to seek expert advice of a panel as to who would be qualified to hire as the next chief of police for the Town of Hillsville. Mayor Crowder says that he feels like the people of the county elected him to do that. Perhaps at the next council meeting they should have a presentation on what the boundaries of the town and the county are. I can assure the mayor that the people of the county never elected him to do anything, nor would they ever. And, I highly, highly doubt the people of the town will make that mistake a second time.

Make them pay
I’m calling in regarding the court system in Grayson County. I see several trials listed and the punishment is given and almost all of it is suspended. Why do we even have a court system if they are just going to turn around and let all these felons and convicted criminals go? I don’t understand. It’s like having a kangaroo court. I think we should have a better court system and people should have to pay for the crimes they commit.

Wake up
I just read The Gazette about the hiring of the Hillsville police chief. The only reason they got rid of him is because they already had in mind who they are going to hire. I’m glad that council members Ed Terry and Greg Yonce are fighting them and I’m wondering why [Billy] Walls is still in there. Hillsville had better wake up to their new council and the mayor.

No fault
I would like to know why Appalachian Power thinks that anytime something happens they can just take it out on the customers. They say that they need a rate increase to pay for the recent storm damage so they can still make a 10 percent profit. Do they realize that a lot of people lost a lot of food due to the power outages? Who do we go to for our losses? Maybe if they remain greedy and don’t care for anyone’s losses, they should have to pay for all the customers‚ food losses. My point is, since it was neither the customers’ fault nor AEP, why should anyone have to pay for the other’s losses?

To the reader that put in about the apartments where the lobby is really dirty, that is really sad. I live in the apartments in Fries. These over here stay spotless and the whole building is kept very clean. I think wherever that apartment is, someone needs to clean it up. Our maintenance over here cleans ours well every day.

Watch the prices
I’m calling about the rise in corn prices. They said on television that feed prices would rise 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent later on. It’s already risen more than 11 percent from $9 and something to $11 and something. Where are the people that check price gouging? Just as soon as they heard it on television, they run it right up the next day. Being a farmer, it is hard to make it already. They said beef would go up as much as up to 5 percent. If nobody checks on it, it will probably go up 15 or 20 percent. Somebody needs to be checking on this stuff.

Only alternative
Orchids to you, Hotline. If it were not for the provision of this publication, some folk would not have a voice in some unpleasant circumstances. Onions to you, Fries High School website. You print the garbage you want to and delete the other. You are one-sided and biased. The only alternate course to be heard is the Hotline. Thank goodness for the Hotline. God bless America.

Case status
Could you update the community on the status of the court case for the two former employees of Rooftop of Virginia? Nothing seems to be coming of it.
Editor’s note: The trial for one of the ex-employees charged with embezzling from Rooftop was to be held last week, but was rescheduled to October. The other suspect’s case is set for November.

Keep it coming
I’m really surprised that my poem made the Hotline. Some think I am crazy, and I am a little borderline. I spend my weeks working, riding up and down the road. The Hotline is a great place, it helps us unload. I love the editor’s comment that I am clever and wise, I love all the opinions from all of you guys. I had a great time at Smoke on the Mountain, dancing for hours. Had a few beers but nobody is counting. I want to talk about tobacco chewing. I hate people spitting everywhere. Please, if you are a smoker, don’t throw that butt out there. I don’t know what happened to Lawnmower Babe, unless she is hiding behind a straw hat. I feel sorry for all you men acting as if you have nothing to look at. Fiddlers’ Convention is coming. Galax welcomes you with a smile. Keep those opinions coming, some are quite absurd. Just have an open mind and never expect to have the last word.
Thanks for the forum
“That’s a fact, Jack,” says that only cowards call the Hotline. Sometimes the Hotline is the only way some of us have a chance to express our opinions so you can’t cut us to shreds on your website. If our point of view differs from yours, you go on the attack and we never get treated fairly — and that’s a fact, Jack. Our thanks to The Gazette for giving us a forum to express our opinions without fear of retaliation.

Keep downtown open
They need to do something about shutting down the town for [for events] so many days in a line. They claim it is to help the downtown businesses. People don’t realize the downtown businesses are there every day. These fluky things are just there for two or three days or for an evening or day or weekend, whatever. It actually hurts their business. It needs to be moved somewhere else so the downtown can stay open so the businesses can continue to function. These people in the downtown, they need to be able to have their shops open and have access to where their clients and customers can get in to them. They are there paying taxes on their buildings so they are furnishing income to the city.

Rants and raves
The Fries High School website has become the laughingstock of our town. [One person associated with it] has taken it upon himself to become our political soothsayer. He doesn’t vote in the town elections but feels that he must tell residents how they should vote. Then, when the town votes his way, the candidates he chose are attacked. This guy lives an hour or two away — not even in our county — and he doesn’t even attend town council meetings. Starved for attention. He simply rants and raves until he gets it. The site gets lots of hits since so many of us can’t wait to read the next tirade. What puzzles most of us is why does the owner of the site tolerate this nonsense?

Smoking’s effects
I think it is really great that the American Lung Association is trying to reduce secondhand smoke. When my son was in high school as a teenager, he was given cigarettes by older students and got addicted. Thank goodness he is smoke-free now. It makes me sad when I see parents driving around in a car, windows up, little children in the car with them and smoking. If you try to talk to anyone about it, they get offended. You would think people care more about their life and their family.