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Today's Opinions

  • Lessening the penalty for first-time pot possession

    Virginia might take a step soon to lessen the penalties for first-time marijuana possession — ending the current criminal prosecution that does more harm than good.

    A bill that would make first-time marijuana possession a civil offense, rather than a criminal charge, will be considered in the next session of the Virginia General Assembly, which begins in January.

    The bill probably will receive a full hearing because of its sponsor — Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, a James City County Republican.

  • Have compassion for mother charged in child’s death

    This is concerning my granddaughter and the death of my grandson.
    She has been going through the legal system since this happened almost eight months ago. I think it’s time to give her and her family some time to grieve and heal the best they can.
    People involved in this legal system are trying to make an example out of her... because of a video that a certain person has pushed to get her convicted.
    I think all involved in this should be ashamed. She doesn’t need to be hated and locked up, she needs freedom and compassion.

  • Wealthy profit from division among citizens

    Taking a knee is courageous, patriotic and very effective in focusing our attention on one of our most cruel injustices.
    Police are shooting and killing unarmed black men and boys. To those who still remain critical of taking a knee, I recommend viewing the Now This Politics video “News Anchors Tell Trump What Patriotism And The Flag Really Mean.”
    We European Americans have been in control of this republic for 228 years and we have failed to achieve our immortal declaration, “all men are created equal!”

  • High number of packages delaying mail delivery

    This letter was addressed to Galax postal customers:
    I wanted to send this out to hopefully answer some questions that you might have about your mail delivery in the upcoming weeks.
    The Postal Service just released some figures from our fiscal year 2017. Mail volume such as magazines, catalogs and first class letters has declined 3.6 percent, while our package volume has increased 11.4 percent compared to last year.
    Due to the number of packages we do receive, your mail delivery will not be at your normal time.

  • When local businesses succeed, we all win

    Growing up, I would earn a quarter per chore – a quarter each for washing dishes, dusting, sweeping and more. I pocketed the quarters, hopped on my bike and rode four blocks to the main thoroughfare in my town of 1,000.
    I would peruse toy racks at the pharmacy and hardware store; drool over bulk candy at the grocery store and the flower shop; and peer at notepads in the glass case at the newspaper office. These locally-owned businesses received all of my hard-earned quarters.

  • Gift thoughtfully, shop locally

    As the holiday season gets fully underway, we should remind ourselves that certain kinds of gifts are more appreciated than others.

    Once children are past the age of wanting – desperately! – the latest toy or fashion, it gets harder to provide a really special gift. We offer the excuses of “I don’t know what’s in style right now,” or “I don’t know what kind of music the kids are listening to these days,” or even, “I don’t know what size anybody wears.”

  • Officers risk their lives to protect community

    Police officer down.

    The entire community holds its breath when it reads or hears those words, hands clasped and heads bowed, in the fervent hope that its worst fears are not realized.

    In incident involving a Portsmouth officer shot five times in the line of duty las week should spur us to take a moment to consider the challenge of police work in this day and age, a vocation that routinely requires the risk of life and limb in service to the public.

  • Close the gap between people and government

    I went to the thrift store and found a really nice sweater.
    While I waited to pay, I watched the family in front of me — a little boy about age 4 with his parents.
    They had a shopping cart with several bright-colored plastic toys and the little guy was just bubbling over, he was so happy.
    He pushed the empty cart back to the rack while the toys were being rung up. His daddy helped him steer. He was not smiling.
    His wife was waiting patiently at the counter, his boy was overjoyed, and shame was rolling off him. You could feel it.