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Columns

  • Dixie Youth tournaments a success

    It is with great pride that I write this letter on behalf of the Grayson County Recreation Park’s policy board.

    Nearly 18 months ago, our board successfully bid to the Virginia State Dixie Youth Association for the honor of hosting not one, but two state tournaments simultaneously in Grayson County.

    These tournaments had never been hosted in Grayson or Southwest Virginia, and winning the bid was an honor within itself.

  • Shine Some Light

    At the Carroll County supervisors’ meeting Sept. 8, The Gazette’s reporter asked for more accountability in county meetings involving closed sessions.

    Carroll officials have heard concerns about this topic before.

    Citizen Mike Goldwasser has made appearances as recently as this month before the Carroll supervisors and the Industrial Development Authority to share public misgivings about use of closed sessions and the lack of public hearings in regard to disposition of county land.

  • Hearing was civil, respectful

    There was no running roughshod over speakers at Carroll County’s public hearing on proposed changes to the subdivision ordinance.

    Order prevailed in the Carroll County Board of Supervisors’ meeting room Thursday, which has not always been the case there when strongly held opinions were being expressed.

    It’s been common in the past for public hearings to veer off into the weird and the pointless, and speakers disagreeing with proposals by unhelpful name calling.

  • Don't Judge Neighborhood

    Not all of us are fortunate enough to live in neighborhoods free of crime and drugs. Some of us are from places where drugs are sold on playgrounds or church parking lots.

    Many of those who grew up in places like that choose to stay, instead of fleeing to a safer suburb. Many are law-abiding citizens who feel a sense of responsibility to set good examples for youth and try to clean up their neighborhoods from the inside.

  • Get ready for 2010

    Local representatives are working diligently to ensure jobs will be available to local citizens when the new state prison opens in Grayson.

    This week, Wytheville Community College announced that tutorials for the Career Readiness Certificate would be offered online, and for that we commend the hard work of WCC and the Crossroads Institute.

    One promise made when the prison was being planned was that the majority of the 350 jobs would go to local citizens.

  • Help yourself to water

    In an age where people are looking for alternative ways of doing things, the self-help program seems like an inexpensive and practical way to get smaller water projects done in Carroll County.

    The cost of everything is shooting through the roof, not the least of which is construction-related efforts.

    The rise in gas prices makes it more expensive to run equipment and ship materials on any construction work, but Carroll County Public Service Authority and community members have apparently found a way around that by using the self-help program for Happy Hollow Road.

  • Shelter Solutions

    Few topics inspire as much passion as animals and their treatment, and those strong feelings were brought to the surface recently in Galax, when a citizen pleaded the city to extend the amount of time dogs and cats are kept at the regional animal shelter before they are euthanized.

    City officials promised to look into the matter, with assurances that they do indeed care about our four-legged friends and their fates.

    But, there’s a painful reality check coming.

  • Fries a fine example of patriotism

    As I sit here on Main Street in Fries, I can’t help but feel patriotic pride. This is truly small town USA, the kind of a town we read about in National Geographic that observes Independence Day with old-fashioned patriotic spirit.

    I am sitting in the parking lot of Fries Baptist Church, across the street from the Fries Middle School, the home of the Wildcats. There is a PA system playing patriotic songs. I can observe people that already line the street a half-hour prior to the parade.

  • Progress takes time

    Sometimes, fortunes change with the flowing of the tides.

    In the case of Lambsburg and Carroll County, the economic tides turned when finding a source of ground water allowed a major investment to move forward.

    Drilling a successful well was the remaining hurdle to clear in attracting a new company to locate off Interstate 77’s Exit 1 in Lambsburg.

  • Grow your own future

    The Twin Counties have seen first-hand the loss of domestic industry. First textiles declined and then the furniture plants closed, putting more than 1,000 out of work in Galax, Carroll and Grayson.

    It would be unfortunate to see another local industry go the way of the factories, but there's been a steady downward trend in another traditional Twin County pursuit — farming.

    Even so, agricultural commodities and forest products are still worth millions of dollars to the economy.