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Columns

  • Grayson should amend school attendance policy

    By Timothy C. Donley, Mouth of Wilson

    It has come to my attention that the Grayson County school attendance policy is so unreasonably strict that parents who exercise their rights and responsibilities to keep an ill child at home for a few days over the course of the school year may be brought to court, accused of truancy violations.

    The school administration does not trust parents to decide for themselves if an ill child needs medical attention or not, nor are school principals trusted to decide if an absence may be truly excused or not.

  • Bassett thanked for past Christmas parties

    I was Made in America by a Factory Man.

    Starting this letter is difficult.  I have so much to say and I want to be sure that I can convey my gratitude both completely and accurately. So, I’ll just start with the obvious: Mr. John D. Bassett III, thank you.

    Thank you for the Christmas parties and the stockings. I felt so lucky and included to be able to go into that loading dock with my parents and meet everyone that they worked with.

    One caveat however, I always knew that was Ronnie McGrady in that Santa costume.

  • Same-sex marriage worthy of coverage

    In recent weeks Gazette readers have shared plenty of feedback about two news reports that were published on the topic of same-sex marriage. We’ve heard a strong response from both sides.

    Some are happy to see the change that has taken place since federal court rulings resulted in allowing same-sex couples the same marriage rights as other couples. Others have vented, sharing feelings of concern and even anger about the court decision and our coverage decisions.

  • An Open Letter to Shoplifters

    GUEST EDITORIAL

    By Nathan Lyons, Carroll County Commonwealth’s Attorney; and Douglas Vaught, Grayson County Commonwealth’s Attorney and Galax City Attorney

  • Carroll should invest in grant writer

    ­When the Carroll County Board of Supervisors agreed to seek out a grant writer to help fund a water park or a pool for the county earlier this month, we can’t help but wonder what went through the former county grant writer’s mind.

    And, we wonder how much more funding the county could have landed for a pool and other projects had they kept Brenda Marrah — who became Galax’s very successful grants administrator after Carroll terminated her position.

  • Healthcare initiatives woefully inadequate

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration is pushing forward on initiatives designed to expand access to health care to the uninsured in Virginia. Those measures, though an improvement, are woefully inadequate to solve the problem.

    McAuliffe, in his first year in office, was outmaneuvered by a General Assembly that blocked every avenue for executive action to significantly expand government-subsidized health insurance.

  • Galax should consider new school plan carefully

    By John P. Kapp, Galax

    In most controversies there are points in favor of both sides.

    In the controversy over whether to move the elementary school to a rural residential area away from its present location and build an entirely new facility, every point is against and no valid point is in favor of doing it.

    Galax has good schools now. The schools have worked well together for many years. They can share facilities and use city‑owned recreational facilities and exercise facilities near the combined school complex.

  • With declining enrollment, now is not the time to expand city schools

    By Dr. Joseph D. Ray, Galax

    The Galax City School System is full of excellent teachers who care about kids. They work hard, countless hours to educate and guide them to become productive citizens.

    They are caring, loving, and nurturing to students and have their best interest at heart as they teach them not only academic lessons, but lessons about life.

  • 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.