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Columns

  • Fluoride fears unfounded

    I am writing in response to the Virginia-Carolina Water Authority meetings attended by a group of people opposed to water fluoridation.
    The most recent meetings were Nov. 15 in Independence and with the Alleghany County Board of Commissioners in Sparta, N.C.
    Several citizens with the newly formed group spoke against water fluoridation by the water authority.

  • Every donation counts

    As it has for nearly three decades, the Galax Y's Men Club is once again undertaking a project that helps hundreds of local families have a brighter Christmas.
    Through the 28th Annual Community Christmas Chest fundraiser, the Y's Men are working hard to solicit funds from the community to pay for food boxes delivered to needy families at Christmas.
    It's truly a case of neighbors helping neighbors, as the majority of funds come from individuals. Businesses, churches, schools and civic organizations also chip in to help the Christmas Chest reach its goal.

  • Free clinic needs help

     The Free Clinic of the Twin Counties needs your help. 

    We are seeing a minimum of 20 new applicants per week who qualify as patients. The applicants are residents of Carroll, Grayson and the City of Galax and have been residents for a minimum of six months. They are totally uninsured and have household incomes of 125 percent, or less, of the federal poverty level.

    That is $13,538 for a family of one, $18,213 for a family of two, $22,888 for a family of three, $27,563 for a family of four.

  • ELECTION LETTERS NOTICE — UPDATE

     Election Letters Notice

    The Gazette accepted letters to the editor concerning the Nov. 2 election until noon on Oct. 21, for publication in the Oct. 25 newspaper. No more campaign-related letters will be accepted.

    Rebuttal letters ONLY will be accepted until noon on Oct. 28, for publication in the Nov. 1 newspaper.

  • Good news, bad news

    Carroll officials had to learn to take the bad with the good in education news in recent weeks.
    While standardized testing and attendance reports show that the schools continue to realize respectable results, school and county officials received a major reversal of fortune as they tried to plan for future facility needs.
    Educators would have finally been able to wrap up the more-than-a-decade-long facilities improvement program by adding the ninth grade to the high school and the sixth grade to the intermediate.

  • Review: Go ahead — laugh in church

    Two days after seeing the Galax Theatre Guild's production of “Smoke on the Mountain,” I am still laughing.

    Ginger Correll and Carolyn Davis have done a remarkable job of directing this ensemble of actors so that the audience can laugh with complete abandon. The Sanders Family, Preacher Oglethorpe, as well as the members of the congregation are so genuine and funny you never feel they are mocking the people they are portraying. Instead, they just inspire guilt‑free happiness and uncontrollable laughter.

  • Old money discovered anew

    Ten years ago, the Virginia Department of Transportation was on a reckless spending spree, delaying payments on completed projects in order to start new ones. More than 160 projects had to be canceled to restore financial sanity.
    A new audit initiated by Gov. Bob McDonnell revealed last month that the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction.
    Today’s VDOT is paralyzed by bureaucratic rules intended to improve accountability that instead have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars sitting unused in more than 25 separate financial accounts.

  • Elderly denied local care

    I am stunned to learn that the General Assembly voted in April to shut down the geriatric unit at Southwest Virginia Mental Health Institute in Marion.
    In fiscal year 2009 the unit had operational costs of roughly $1.3 million and revenue of approximately $2.5 million. It is not losing money. Why must it be closed?

  • Religious freedom is under attack

    As an American and a follower of Jesus, I am shocked and embarrassed by the ongoing attacks on freedom of religion in our country.
    Our forefathers were committed to making this a country where freedom of religion was guaranteed, so much so that it is covered the first sentence in the First Amendment to our Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
    Clearly it was their intention to be sure that in America everyone had the freedom to worship as they chose.

  • Protect Parkway Vistas

    Millions of recreational travelers drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway annually, spending roughly $300 in gateway communities like Galax, Carroll and Grayson on each trip.