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Today's Opinions

  • School of the future

    On a warm July day back in 2008, Grayson leaders broke ground on the first county school construction program in more than 25 years.

    Superintendent Elizabeth Thomas said that day that "young people deserve a school equipped with the latest technology."

    Former County Administrator Bill Ring stated that with the new facility, students "don't have to take a back seat anymore."

    Seventeen months later, a beautiful school stands where an open field once was, ready to educate the future of Grayson County.

  • Letters to the Editor for 12/28/09

    Smoking a privilege, not a right

    I’ve read the Hotline calls of irate smokers (and one non-smoker) who claim their rights were trampled by the recent law going into effect that bans smoking in restaurants.

    I certainly understand their anger, given how unreasonable it is to ask them to walk 20 feet to the door, open it, and stand in the open air to smoke. How unreasonable!

  • Fiscal Foresight

    Foresight is a thing that's refreshing to find in government on any level.

    It's even more rare when desperation seems to run rampant, as it did while officials worked on their finances in the midst of the Great Recession last year.

    But the Carroll County Public Schools leadership managed to both avoid budgetary pitfalls and help prepare to meet future fiscal challenges for 2010.

    The federal government stepped in to help localities avoid crippling layoffs through the recovery act. Many places used this one-time infusion of cash as a short-term fix.

  • The Gazette's 2009 Editorial Awards

    Many memorable events marked 2009, but most we'd like to forget.

    It was a year of economic turmoil, swine flu freak-outs, bank robbers in fake wigs and partisan political pandemonium.

    A bear got loose in a Hillsville corn maze at Halloween, but Carroll County punished dogs by enacting a trespassing law aimed at them.

    Two women were fired for taking nude pictures of nursing home residents. Why, we don't know. Is there a market for “Grandpas Gone Wild” videos?

  • Letters to the Editor for 12/14/09

    Country road is not NASCAR track

    I live in a small community with tranquil woods, hills dotted with cattle and pretty little farms and houses.

    However, the country two-lane road that cuts through our sleepy village connects U.S. 58 with Interstate 77. This is a shortcut or bypass of the 58/I-77 intersection, and is the subject of my complaint.

    What used to be a rural winding country lane has turned into a veritable Autobahn with no posted speed, no traffic signals, no stop signs.

  • Letters to the Editor for 12/21/09

    Senior programs praised

    I have been meaning to write a letter to praise the senior program at the Galax Recreation Center.

    I have taken advantage of many parties observed during the summer, fall and Christmas season. It is always a joy to see old friends there.

    I attend the fun bingo games each month, with Michael Dees calling out the numbers. There are usually close to 70 people that attend. I applaud Mike in his many efforts to make the center a fun, user-friendly place.

  • Creating the future

    Sometimes the realization of years of planning and working and dreaming are not announced with fireworks or fanfare.

    Sometimes, you just realize that a long-promised change in the state of things has happened.

    Such is the case with Galax's mission to become a "cultural district," a community devoted to the visual and performing arts, centered around the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts downtown.

    The school is still months away from its grand opening, but already there's a feeling in the air, an electricity sparked by creative minds.

  • Making the Grade in Fries

    The Grayson County School System is making every effort possible to achieve accreditation division-wide, an undertaking that should earn them some “extra credit” on their school report card.

    The school system has only one school remaining — Fries Middle — to achieve that goal.

    With less than 40 schools throughout Virginia fully accredited for the 2009-10 school year, the school administrators know the importance of achieving this goal, and they have responded.