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Columns

  • Is 'Adequate Yearly Progress' an adequate measure?

    Chris Braunlich is vice president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy and a member of the Virginia State Board of Education. The views expressed here are his own.  He may be reached at c.braunlich@att.net. This column was shortened for space considerations.

    I still have my notes from nine years ago.
    Speaking at a dinner meeting hosted by the Thomas Jefferson Institute, then-Virginia School Board President Mark Christie argued that “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) was doomed to failure.

  • God & Grayson County

    The Rev. Laura M. George, J.D., is executive director of the Oracle Institute in Independence

  • Oracle vs. Grayson: The other side of the story
  • Oracle vs. Grayson: The other side of the story

    By Lewis and Joanie Walker of Independence

    When Laura George presented her proposed project, the Oracle Retreat Center, to the Grayson Board of Supervisors for approval on June 10, 2010, freedom of speech was exercised by 28 citizens.
    Sixteen others voiced their views through letters and phone calls.
    Though many of the remarks by local people expressed opposition on religious grounds, the board declined the project based on common sense building principles.

  • Religion has no place in zoning dispute

    Editor’s note: This editorial was originally published in The Roanoke Times in advance of a September trial in the Oracle Institute’s religious discrimination lawsuit against Grayson County. The trial has now been postponed until November.

    Laura George’s neighbors may not like her outspoken personality or her views on religion, but those matters have no place in a zoning decision.

  • Barking up the wrong legal tree

    If ever there was a law that needed smacking on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper, it was Hillsville's ill-conceived proposal to control noisy animals.
    Town council members were right to put this idea down, before it created a situation that would likely have resulted in near-constant howls of complaint from citizens and dogged police officers trying to enforce its too-strict rules.

  • Safety takes the cake

    One eatery recently taken into Hillsville by annexation brought town officials cakes and pies to celebrate the change and handed out meal cards as a token of appreciation.
    The visit to Hillsville Town Council’s July 11 meeting must have been a refreshing attitude for town officials.
    While annexation efforts often face stiff opposition from those who basically don’t want to pay extra taxes, that doesn’t seem to have become an issue in Hillsville expanding its town boundaries west of Interstate 77’s Exit 14.

  • Patriotism measured in values, not volume

    By Kevin Loftin of Galax

  • Money in the bank

    What difference does a year make?
    For Grayson County, it makes about a $5.2 million difference.
    After supervisors raised taxes in back-to-back years, Grayson citizens quickly found themselves moving from a county with one of the lowest tax rates in the state to around the middle of the pack.
    While the tax increases weren’t popular, at that time they were necessary to pull the county out of its financial crisis.

  • The best shelter begins with a caring community

    I’ve often heard people who have come to Galax, Grayson County or Carroll County remark that this area has the nicest people.
    So how have we gotten so out of touch with the sad reality of what is happening to our animals here?
    When did it become acceptable to kill animals because there were just too many?  When did we decide that animals have no value or purpose?
    How often do you pass by the animal shelter on your way to church — a place where many find their sense of a loving community?