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Columns

  • Williams' death opens up dialogue about depression

    The world lost an extraordinary talent on Aug. 11, a comic genius whose wit, insight and ability to connect transcended generations and genres both high and low, serious and comic.

    Robin Williams taught us much about ourselves and our culture: As Mork, a goofy alien sent from the planet Ork to learn about human behavior; as an irreverent deejay questioning the Vietnam War; and as a divorced father who disguised himself as an elderly housekeeper so he could see his kids.

    His death may carry still another lesson, one about the devastating costs of mental illness.

  • Convention a passport to lost musical territory

    California-born music writer and critic Greil Marcus once used the term “old, weird America” to refer to the sound of the songs collected on the popular and enduring “Anthology of American Folk Music.”

    The anthology itself was created by another West Coast native, Harry E. Smith, who compiled the three-album set with every American blues, folk and country song he could find. He teased out ballads, “social music” and just plain songs.

  • Seeing Galax through visitor's eyes

    By David Martin, Whiteville, N.C.

    I have to take a moment to say “thank you” to all the kind people of Galax.

    In May, I began a surprise search for a birthday gift for my wife of 45 years. July 1 was her 63rd birthday and I wanted to give her a big surprise. She has always wanted to go to Mount Airy, N.C., so I began by searching things to do in the area.

  • An achievable American dream

    James Truslow Adams is a noted historian, perhaps best known for coining the term “American Dream” in his 1931 book “The Epic of America.” He defined it partly as “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”

  • On the path to a cure for cancer

    Relay for Life brings together people from all walks of life in a common cause

    By Judy Beasley, Galax/Carroll Relay for Life

  • Chief's departure raises questions about Hillsville

    Later this month, the town of Hillsville will say goodbye to the second police chief in the past two years who was not in the mood to deal with extra drama associated with an already difficult position.

    And we can’t say we blame him or his predecessor one bit for getting out of that situation on their own terms.

    Chief Greg Bolen turned in his resignation to the town on June 30, after hearing repeatedly that his job may or may not be threatened after the new town council took office July 1.

  • Local facility a model market

    The Southwest Virginia Farmers Market has been a main focus of Carroll County for years.
    This has obviously paid off, judging from the reaction it got from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials when they visited the Twin Counties earlier this month.
    Nothing but good things were heard about the market on June 17, when the group took a tour of the main market and the cannery.

  • Fries needs clear plan for future

    Recently, Fries Town Council was encouraged to revisit a master plan that it had previously developed for the town’s revitalization… and we couldn’t agree more.
    In recent years, small towns have seen their share of economic downfall, and Fries is no exception. A place of history and an ideal spot for outdoor recreation, the area has a lot of promise. But over the years, the area’s redevelopment seems to have, quite frankly, ground to a halt.

  • Conflicting opinions about who should vote on school

    Deciding whether to rezone a piece of residential property for a new school in Galax was difficult already, and it is being further complicated by a question about perceived conflicts of interest.
    Four of the seven members of the Galax Planning Commission have ties to the city’s school system: one is a school board member, one is an administrator, one is a teacher and one is married to a teacher. The commission is considering the school board’s request to rezone land for a new elementary/middle school.

  • Concerns about planning commission conflicts

    This May 7 letter from Jody Ray, former Galax High School principal and resident of the neighborhood near the proposed school, was written to Galax Mayor C.M. Mitchell and shared with The Gazette. Below are excerpts from the letter:

    This is no doubt a challenging decision, and I have confidence in our council to make an informed one, in the best interest of the citizens of Galax.