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Today's Opinions

  • AND THE WINNERS ARE...

    Not to get all sentimental about 2008 or anything, but we're bound to look back nostalgically one day and say, "Boy, that year really sucked."

    Think of the year that just wrapped up as a motion picture. It was kind of a sequel to a bad movie (2007!) with a similar plot — layoffs and politics and high gas prices, oh my! — and the same characters. And, it managed to be almost as stinky.

  • Reflect & Resolve

    With the tumultuous 2008 coming to a relatively quiet (as I write this, anyway) close, it's time to think about the year ahead.

    Looking back, this was a year that we almost wish we could do over. It began with a series of brutal murders, and was marked (or is that marred?) by several animal cruelty cases and a series of layoffs and closings due to a floundering economy.

    Now, here are some thoughts to consider in 2009:

  • The Growing Importance of Farming

    Frank Levering of Cana is author of “Welcome to the Country,” available in stores and online at Ballyshannonfund.org.

    The American poet Theodore Roethke observes in one of his poems that, “In a dark time the eye begins to see.”

    With dark economic times upon us, here’s hoping that our collective cultural “eye” will begin to see the central importance of farming to our economic and social wellee'being.

  • Seeking Stimuli

    If the much-ballyhooed economic stimulus package from the federal government can create jobs, it's hard to imagine a place where that money could be better spent than the Twin Counties.

    The manufacturing job base was shrinking even before the recession struck the nation as a whole. Fewer jobs means less revenue for local governments, and less revenue means less money in the coffers for projects to benefit the area.

  • Letters to the Editor for 1/12/09

    Make peace with greetings

    In the Jan. 5 edition of the Gazette, I counted seven Readers’ Hotline calls regarding a previous caller’s thoughts that “Happy Holidays” should be used instead of “Merry Christmas.”

    Frankly, I don’t care which one a person uses, since judging someone solely on the basis of a term they use or don’t use is akin to judging an entire steak based on one bite.

  • Letter to the Editor for 12/29/08

    Against cruelty, even in country

    I am a country girl, a regular red-meat-eating Republican redneck from a place just as rural as Carroll County, and just about as enlightened.

    That’s okay. I don’t mind unenlightened. But what I do mind is people just assuming that folks in Carroll County think puppy mills like David Winesett’s are okay.

    I am sure they don’t. I am sure they are just as horrified and outraged as I am. They just don’t know how to stop it.

  • A Scary Reminder

    It's far too easy to forget the mistakes of the past, as they recede further and further into the rearview mirror.

    All it takes is another near-tragedy to remind us that some simple protective measures still have not been taken more than one year after a tragic accident that left two women dead and three others injured.

    On Dec. 10, 2007, a car struck a propane tank at a laundromat in Fries, and the gas that leaked as a result ignited into a deadly fireball.

  • Good news, bad news

    Despite the sad news for the area that a cabinet manufacturer has resigned — possibly just temporarily — its interest in expanding its facility into the city due to a failing economy nationwide, there's still hope for Galax and the Twin Counties through alternatives, like The Crooked Road, to keep the local economy moving forward.