Readers' Hotline 9/9/13

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Don’t touch the gas
In response to the caller who has to ride the brakes, try not riding the gas pedal. If your car goes more than 25 mph with your foot off the pedal, then a visit to your mechanic might be in order. Your car is a danger to all of us. Try crossing four lanes of traffic on foot or pulling out in front of four lanes of heavy traffic traveling at 45 mph. What’s your hurry anyway?

SOL decline
As I read about the decline in SOL scores in the Galax school system, I am disheartened, but not surprised. Due to hiring practices of the school administration, our academic standing is going to spiral out of control. Under previous administrators, teachers were hired based on their level of education and years of experience. Sadly, that has not been the case in the last several years. New graduates are routinely hired over experienced applicants, presumably to save the school system money. Emphasis is no longer placed on smaller classrooms, as more children are placed in rooms to save money. Our community needs to be more concerned about the decline in test scores, as Galax has always been able to boast higher test scores and a larger percentage of college-bound students. Talk to your city council members about your concerns and, if they don’t listen, it is time for new council members. In a good system, school board members would be voted for so they can be held accountable for their decisions. There are currently no educators on the school board, which is concerning.

A better way
If these war mongers out there want troops on the ground in Syria, let them start with the children of our congressmen. They want wars, but not with their kids. It’s always the poor and the middle class that fight for us. Maybe they get to come home safely, but some don’t. Of course, some who do may have lost a limb or two or they have brain damage. There has to be a better way.

No different
I’d just like to say to all the people that are complaining about the speed limits in Galax that are 35 mph, don’t go to any other town because they have speed limits that are 35 mph, too.

Hopes dashed
I’m calling regarding the Carroll County Fair that went on. I could not understand why the fair did not let the horse show happen. Had everybody’s hopes built up. Everybody was upset that I have talked to. Are we going to have that happen next year?
Editor’s note: The horse show was cancelled due to ground conditions after heavy rainfall.
Not set yet
This is in reference to the individuals about the “stealing gold” case that was posted last week. It’s funny, you say the article was written on Mr. Edwards because his court case came up. But, I do not recall seeing a court case about Christopher Jones on the front page of The Gazette. You want to tell me that is fair journalism? Interesting.
Editor’s note: Jones’ court case has not been on the front page because he hasn’t been to court yet. Jones has been indicted, but his court date will not be set until Sept. 16.

Not pictured
I just decided why there was no arrest made for the trooper whose car rear-ended the lady in Grayson County. He didn’t want his picture put in The Gazette.

Doing well
Duke Lifepoint has done a great job at Twin County Hospital. I was on the third floor last week and it was operating fully. I am thankful to have good technology with the wonderful doctors we already have here. We still have some great, wonderful doctors here. Thank God for them.

Please explain
This is in reference to the state trooper that rear-ended a car outside of Independence. They said the matter would be handled administratively. What does that mean? Suspended with pay? The police stick together. If it was an ordinary citizen, they would have been charged.

Nice to visit
I wanted to make another comment about Walmart putting the greeters back on the doors. It is so nice to go in there. They help you with the wheelchairs and they are there to talk to you and help you if you need help and they are always friendly. I find myself wanting to go every day just to visit the ladies at the door. Thank you Walmart for what you did.

Casual driving
I’d like to thank the City of Galax for changing the speed limit to 35. Now that I am driving 35 mph, I have time to drive along, enjoy the scenery, see the beautiful trees on the four-lane in the median. This fall when they change colors, it will be a beautiful sight that I wouldn’t want to miss by driving too fast. I can see where the businesses are, see each and every one and not miss a one. This might be good for business. Because now, businesses that people didn’t know where they were, now they can realize where they are. So, I love a casual drive down the four-lane. It’s great. Thank you, Galax, for changing the speed limit to 35. Had I continued to drive 45, I might have missed something that I would have really been sorry for.

Upset with judge
That judge that gave that person 30 days for that rape case in Montana needs to be fired because we don’t need people in our judicial system that are that ignorant. They need to get rid of those judges and there needs to be somebody that has power over these judges.

Same faces
Why are we playing daddy ball on eighth grade football? This is ridiculous. I was so excited for my son to be playing eighth-grade football instead of rec this year, thinking we would get away from the daddy ball. Low and behold, come to find out, it’s the same daddys as rec ball. I don’t know why Grayson County can’t open your eyes.
Double standard
It is not surprising the trooper that rear-ended the woman near Independence will not face traffic charges. The article said the trooper would be charged administratively. This lady suffered injuries and her car was totaled. There is a double standard here. Ordinary citizens who rear-end someone are usually charged with reckless driving. The laws are for everyone, including the police. Cops should face the same punishment as everyone else. No more double standard.

How it works
In answer to “NASCAR wonderment,” in Nationwide there is an allotment of tires that you may have and use, but in Sprint Cup there is no allotment on gasoline or tires. You can use as much gasoline as you want or as many tires as you need or can afford. That’s how it happens. Let the mystery be solved.

Leading rushers
It was a very interesting football game on Aug. 23 at Galax High School against Carroll County. The first time in any history that the referees carried the ball and had more yards gained than the opposing team of Carroll County. Very interesting game when the referees carry the ball more than the teams.

Way to go
Congratulations to city council. I just learned that Galax was had the highest unemployment record in the state for July. If you would think about getting industry in here instead of trying to drag tourists in, it would be a lot better off. Why worry about somebody that don’t live here and put the ones that do live here under the rug? We need some young blood on city council. The ones in now haven’t done anything.
Editor’s Note: In July, the city of Galax rose to an uncommon high in unemployment rates (16 percent) for a number of reasons. As Bill Webb of the Virginia Employment Commission explained for us in our Sept. 4-5 edition, that this is a normal pattern for our area in July because factories, which employ a large chunk of our workforce, typically furlough workers for the July 4 holiday. In addition to that, construction crews this year were held off by frequent heavy rains that continued to fall throughout the month, making it impossible to continue work on several projects in the city. A job surge in Martinsville, an area that has become known for consistently high unemployment rates, was also a factor. Webb confirmed that the VEC expects the numbers to drop down to 8 or 9 percent for August.

John G. Public
Sometimes it is not hard to understand when the population gets apathetic. When a state trooper hits a car in the back — lady turning in a driveway — we are not given any real reason why or details, but no charges are filed. Then, we move along and the mayor of one of the local municipalities is charged with impersonating an ABC officer, and we are not really given any details by the state and everything just goes on as normal. Interesting. I understand we don’t know all the details, but the bugaboo is we aren’t given all the details, that’s why we don’t know them. But, I can guarantee you this much, if it had been John G. Public that rear-ended a car waiting to turn in a driveway, there would have been charges. Can’t imagine there wouldn’t have been. If someone from John G. Public had gone down and tried to impersonate an ABC officer, I’m sure the details would have been given out by the state and let the chips fall where they may. I guess it just goes to show there is no respecter of persons.