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Columns

  • Keep government open, accessible

    This is Sunshine Week. No, that doesn’t mean we’ll have temperatures above 60 and be able to soak up rays for seven days, though that would be nice.
    Sunshine Week is when citizens of this great democratic nation and we as journalists highlight, illuminate and enlighten the necessity for a transparent government.

  • Congressional inaction could cost local jobs

    Daniel E. Nation is president of Parkdale International, with headquarters in Gastonia, N.C.  The company operates plants in Galax and Hillsville and also has facilities in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

    Everyone knows that the number of textile jobs in the United States has been in sharp decline for years.

  • Don't forget downtown

    Patrick Butler is owner of Purple Feet Wines in downtown Galax

    In the past several months, downtown Galax has lost businesses — some that had been around for many years.
    Part of the reason is the sad state of the economy, but part of the issue lies within us. One of the constant refrains I hear from people is that there is no good shopping in Galax.
    No, we don’t have the population base to support tony stores or boutique shops, that’s true.

  • It's up to states to fight illegal immigration

    Submitted by these members of the Virginia House of Delegates: Charles W. Carrico, Anne Crockett-Stark, Terry G. Kilgore, Joseph P. Johnson, James W. Moorefield

    Many of us in the Virginia General Assembly have once again taken action this year to deal with the burden of a federal failure.
    We have submitted proposed legislation concerning illegal immigration — a growing problem in the commonwealth.
    The fact is that illegal immigration costs the average American taxpayer $1,117 per year, and costs Virginia nearly $2 billion per year.

  • End cuts to education spending in Virginia

    Harold Golding is chairman of the Southwest Region, Virginia School Boards Association Board of Directors

    “The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action,” the British philosopher Herbert Spencer once wrote.
    Today, I urge you to take action to help the education system in Virginia be as strong as it can possibly be. You can make a difference in the future of our children and in the welfare of our communities.
    Are you aware that per pupil spending in Virginia has decreased by almost 20 percent since 2007?

  • The devil in the details of Carroll's ethics code

    The idea sounds good at first — an ethical Carroll County government is just what everybody wants.
    How could anybody disagree with that?
    As usual, the devil is in the details, specifically number 18 in the code of ethics, which tells all general county representatives and citizens who volunteer on boards, commissions, authorities, committees and whatnot to refer all media inquiries to the county administrator’s office.

  • United Way needs our help

    GUEST EDITORIAL

    Twin County United Way needs the community's help.
    Since 1957, through the community's generosity, TCUW has provided millions of dollars to dozens of Twin County non‑profit organizations.
    Now we, like many we serve, have fallen on hard times. Without a substantial increase in donations, our long‑term existence is doubtful.
    Last year, TCUW fell more than 50 percent short of its $215,000 campaign goal. We had to cut by 25 percent contributions to the 26 agencies we serve, dipping into reserves to do so.

  • Citizens free to speak if rules are followed

    GUEST EDITORIAL

  • Grayson citizens deserve more

    GUEST EDITORIAL

    Hard times call for tough and difficult decisions. Unfortunately, Grayson County officials seem unwilling or unable to act in a prudent and sensible manner.
    Despite citizens turning out at every public hearing and meeting to express concern over governmental choices, tax increases and property assessments, the public outcries have repeatedly fallen on deaf ears.
    A citizens’ meeting in November was attended by more than 300 people, as the grassroots opposition continues to swell against decisions and practices.

  • Hear them out

    After all the talk of public involvement and listening to constituents by Carroll officials, the unwillingness of the county supervisors to hear out a community member during citizens’ comment time is simply stunning.
    Yes, citizen Mike Goldwasser had spoken about his concerns over a perceived conflict of interest only a month before last Thursday’s board of supervisors meeting.