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Columns

  • Don't be so quick to judge speed changes

    With the economy being in the shape that it’s in, the last thing anyone wants is a traffic ticket.
    So, it was easy to predict the onslaught of complaints and attacks towards the city’s Traffic Safety Committee for its recent request to lower speed limits on several streets in Galax, notably the stretch of blacktop that goes to the eastern limits of Galax, starting at Country Club Lane.
    The speed limit there used to be 45 mph, and the limit would then decrease to 35 mph going down the hill towards the western city limits.

  • Students' safety trumps convenience

    If you’re polite enough to hold the door at the front of a Carroll County Public School facility, then you’re kind of missing the point.
    The most important issue at the schools is safety, not Miss Manners-approved behavior.
    While it may chaff one’s sensibilities, it is not a good idea to help someone else circumvent the security measures at schools.
    People will have to get used to these brand new security measures at Carroll schools, which means resisting the urge to assist others.

  • Property seizure presents problems

    By Sandra Felts, Austinville

  • Road fixes take time

    If there’s anything that the Twin Counties are tired of right now, it’s rain. We’re tired of rain forecasts, stories about floods and announcements about road closures.
    Thankfully, things appear to be clearing up at this point. The ground is drying up, repairs are being made, and events are going forward as planned…. and yes, this means a green light for the fiddlers’ convention.
    The city, however, is feeling quite an aftershock.

  • Public thanks was well-deserved

    For years, the Galax Volunteer Fire Department has prided itself on quick and quality response. They rush to the scenes of burning buildings, assist in major car pile-ups and engage in every other facet of community service they can possibly fit into their tightly packed schedules.

  • BBQ event spices up Galax's economy

    This year, we celebrate the ninth anniversary of Smoke on the Mountain, an event that in its short existence has made great strides in putting Galax on the map for the rest of the country.
    Every year, it attracts thousands — barbecue teams, judges, tourists, fans and locals — to enjoy two days of high-spirited competition and many other festivities.
    Locals can get out, celebrate, eat, mingle with old friends and meet new ones.
    Tourists get a taste, not just of good food and entertainment, but of the city itself and what it has to offer.

  • Hang up and drive

    Legislation providing for a massive infusion of new money for the commonwealth’s long-neglected, crumbling roads finally took effect July 1, essentially overhauling the way Virginia’s transportation system is funded.
    The clearest signal that the law took effect, however, wasn’t visible along any road; it was at the cash register, where consumers began shelling out a little more money.
    Gone is the state’s fixed, 17.5 cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline, which had lost more than half its value since being enacted in 1987.

  • Criminal code needs serious overhaul

    Of the many government systems that need overhaul, the federal criminal code ranks among the most bloated.
    Congress has created 500 new federal crimes per decade for the last 30 years. From 1980 to 2004, the number of criminal offenses increased by 30 percent.
    Many of those new laws junked a long-standing legal principal known as mens rea: for a person to be guilty of a crime, he must have intended to commit one.

  • With winds calmed, a bright future for solar?

    It’s a breath of fresh air knowing that the future does not hold nine more months of discussion on a proposed tall structures ordinance by the Carroll County supervisors.
    That proposal filled the atmosphere with hot air for a long while after it became public knowledge that a wind energy farm was being considered for Stoots Mountain, near the Wythe-Carroll line.
    County officials developed the tall structures ordinance in answer to that alternative energy study.

  • A monument for the people, by the people

    This year’s Memorial Day marked the dedication of the POW/MIA section of the Blue Ridge Veterans Memorial, and veterans — along with families, friends and other members of a caring community — gathered around the site that morning to see the birth of the area’s newest tribute to sacrifice in the line of service.