Readers' Hotline 9/10/12

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No exceptions
Recently I tried to park near the Grayson County School Board office and noticed that [a staff member’s] vehicle was occupying the handicapped space at the office. I do not believe the person is handicapped in any way and therefore found it inconsiderate and an insult to all handicapped persons wishing to park where they have a designated parking space. Perhaps the person should be reminded of the rules and that they apply to everyone.

Undesirable job
Talking coal and Obama and electricity rates, I don’t like the high rates either but, if you have had a grandfather and father that worked in the coal mines and the black lung killed so many, if it was your people, you might change your mind. That is a terrible job for the workers. It pays good but it destroys their life.

Just calling about the incident at Galax Head Start where kids under 10 years of age went in and vandalized the school and the buses and threw keys away. Just wondering if anything is going to be done with the parents or if anyone from social services came in to see [how these kids were supervised]. It is very concerning to the community because the kids could have gotten killed on that bus.
Editor’s note: The caller is making some assumptions here that don’t quite match what happened. Galax Police Chief Rick Clark said that officers investigated vandalism to a Head Start bus on July 13. It was parked at the Rosenwald-Felts center. “Someone went into the bus and damaged the top emergency exit door,” Clark said. “They did an estimated $300 in damage.” Police have no suspects and the investigation is ongoing, but Clark said he has no reason to believe the suspects are children.

An abomination
This is concerning a caller defending Obama. I’m wondering if the contributor is just returning from a foreign country or some alien planet. I’m not sure where you have been for the last two years, defending him on things like this because most of what he has done is to protect gays and give them rights. Rights that are an abomination to God to begin with. I’m sure he could have made better use of his powers of office than that, but you really need to look at everything he has done, not just the things you approve of. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth and it is in print and it is the law.

Fair share?
My son, an Iraq veteran, was in the military and stationed in Germany, and Germany is very well off financially with a surplus. They take a 1 percent tax when you buy anything. That is all the tax you pay. Then they have free healthcare, no pre-existing, no worries, free college. If a couple has a newborn baby, the wife gets a year off with pay. He lived there for two years, what time he wasn’t in Iraq. He said that is a wonderful way. If our government had a brain, that is what they need to try to do. I don’t know what is wrong with these Republicans, the rich ones, saying “we don’t want to give our money away.” They are not giving their money away. They are just paying their fair share. What is wrong with people? Don’t they understand nothing?

Why does everyone here have a staring problem? I can’t even go to Walmart without me and my family being stared down. It’s like they have never seen people before. Can I have one day of not being stared out while I am shopping? Trust me, you are not going to miss anything. What’s next, family stalking?

Can’t do everything
I was reading the Hotline call to Mayor Crowder that the person voted for change and for him to make decisions in dragging his feet and turning into a clique politician. I wonder if it is the person that keeps coming to all the council meetings because her husband was promised he would be the police chief during Crowder’s campaign before the election and now they are finding out they can’t do everything they thought they could change. It’s funny that people can make all these promises to get in a position, then find out they can’t do everything they want to do. He better watch his step.

Costs a fortune
Thank you, Mr. Editor, for responding to “it works.” I have secondary insurance with my Medicare that costs a fortune and I do not get everything paid for.

Heavy handed
Why are Republican men trying to take away women’s rights? A woman should have control over her body. She is the one that lives in it. They want to ban abortion even in a rape case. Romney has said he will overturn Roe vs. Wade, shut down Planned Parenthood, through which women have access to cancer screening, mammograms and other things. Gov. McDonnell is known as the vegetable doctor. They say they want government out of people’s lives, but they want to tell women what to do with their bodies. By the way, why don’t they do away with Viagra? Guess that would take away too much of their pleasures.
Editor’s note: A president cannot directly overturn a U.S. Supreme Court decision such as Roe vs. Wade.

Irritating response
I think the statement about the newspaper getting longer and irritating was right and to the point. I agree 100 percent. Your response was irritating, too. For it shows you don’t care. You made a joke of the reader. A few less of those would not make you as happy.
Editor’s note: We changed the size of the pages several years ago to fit a new industry standard for printing presses, and received no complaints until last week's call. We made a joke that last week’s caller might be “shrinking” instead of the Gazette getting bigger, because no changes have been made to the paper’s size in a long time. For every person that doesn’t like the inch-longer page, there are those who do enjoy the fact that it’s also an inch narrower and easier to hold. Even further in the past, we shrunk the paper a bit to use less newsprint. Even a few inches less per issue keeps the cost of the paper affordable.

Paying for it
After reading “it works” in The Gazette about ObamaCare, and the editor’s note that “it may work for you, but someone is paying for it.” I get the same thing and my wife gets the same thing. We are paying out the nose for the insurance, but if we didn’t have ObamaCare, they would turn us down and we would have no insurance or nothing to buy our medicines with. It’s costing us more than we can really stand but it’s not what we would have if it wasn’t for ObamaCare. It stopped some of these leeches that have collected off us, taking these vacations, getting these million dollar bonuses. It is working and we are paying for it. I paid for it for the last 70 years, but don’t say someone else is paying. We paid a long time plus we have to pay extra now — half of what we get to keep the insurance. Republicans would let the insurance take it away from us if they were in total control.

A bad sign
I just don’t know about young people when they treat elderly people badly in public. You tell me how they can work in a nursing home. You know if they treat them bad in public, they treat them bad in a nursing home. I would rather die at home than in a nursing home. At least you can get respect at home.

Pros and cons
Recently I returned to my alma mater and was pleasantly surprised at how nice the football stadium was with the new lighting and new track. But became saddened when I realized the purpose of newly-planted trees around the perimeter. For as many years as I can remember, there have been a handful of Maroon Tide faithful that cannot afford a ticket to the football game, so they sit in the parking lot of the school board office to watch the game. Does this cheat the school of some money? Possibly. Can they truly not afford the ticket to the game? Maybe, maybe not. However, to plant trees for the purpose of keeping those that can’t afford tickets from enjoying the game somehow seems cruel and appears to go against the Tide Pride we have been cultivating. They have staggered the planting of trees so if you can see through the first row of trees, then the second row will surely get you. Who chose those hideous yellow colors at the entrance of the gymnasium? Every time I walk in the lobby, I feel like I am walking into Narrows High School and I have never been a fan of Narrows‚ colors. Please paint the lobby maroon and white and add the Maroon Tide emblem on the floor for a nice touch.
Editor’s note: Think about it this way: if you can’t get a ticket to the theater, are you upset because the building has walls and you can’t see the show from outside? The fact is that proceeds from tickets to football games go to support the team and the school. Every car parked outside the gates is a bit of lost financial support for the team you are rooting for. Who has more “Tide Pride” — those who contribute to the team and their alma mater by buying a ticket or those who watch from outside the fence?  Plus, those vehicles parked along the fence at GHS create traffic problems for those who live and travel on that street.

Not impressed
Recently I read that state Sen. Bill Carrico won an award from the Virginia Sheriffs Association. I am not impressed. The only people he serves in this region are the region’s police departments. He needs to serve the area’s public, not just buddies from his old job [Carrico is a former Virginia State Police trooper]. Winning his election by default and serving the interest of his buddies does not make for a good politician deserving of any award.