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Columns

  • Conservation easements can benefit taxpayers

    David G. Yolton is a land trust board member.

    In the New River Valley, we face a huge challenge:  How do we preserve the bounty of nature and our rich natural resources, the envy of many on this planet?
    The New River Land Trust is a non-profit organization committed to conserving farmland, forests, open spaces, and historic places in Virginia’s New River region, including the counties of Bland, Carroll, Giles, Floyd, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski, Wythe, and the cities of Galax and Radford.

  • Prevent animal cruelty

    By Suzanne Collins, Twin County Humane Society

    Twin County Humane Society reminds the public that April is Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month.
    Recognizing animal cruelty is not always simple. What constitutes animal cruelty or abuse?
    Unintentional abuse usually occurs when someone is ignorant of the proper way to care for a pet.

  • FACE-IT: a community approach to addiction

    John Bigger of Fayetteville, N.C. is project director of FACE-IT

    If someone told you that 10,000 adults had a treatable disease and that 9,000 were going without treatment, would you be concerned?
    That this disease affects 8.25 percent of the county’s adult population, would you be concerned?
    This community has a silent epidemic eating away its resources — destroying families, damaging businesses, giving rise to criminal acts, hindering children’s success, taking lives prematurely.

  • 'Tragedy' play would be a powerful event

    By Gene Dalton of Hillsville

    The Carroll County Centennial Citizens Committee should rethink its decision to not do a play or some type of production on the 100th anniversary of the “Carroll County Courthouse tragedy.”
    While growing up in Carroll County, I often heard about the “Hillsville courthouse shooting.” It is a major piece of local and national history.
    So, I was disappointed to hear of the decision. It's a most interesting story.

  • Let post office adapt to survive

    The United States Postal Service is careening toward insolvency, with projections showing it finishing another year spending far more than it earns.
    A report issued this month by the Government Accountability Office revealed the postal service posted a net loss of $329 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
    It's on pace to lose $6.4 billion through September, barely has $1 billion in cash reserves and plans to borrow billions more this year from the U.S. Treasury, pushing its debt level to the maximum allowed by law — $15 billion.

  • 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?