Today's Opinions

  • Information isn't flowing freely

    Dick Hammerstrom, a retired editor, is vice president of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government and chairman of the FOIA Committee of the Virginia Press Association. This column first appeared in the Free-Lance Star of Fredericksburg.

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe did not list transparency as a major theme in his campaign for the top elected office in the state. Of course, as any governor-elect would, he told reporters that he planned to run “an open and transparent administration.”

  • There is no Democratic presidential nominee yet

    About three years ago, three highly respected journalists, two from Virginia, one from Georgia, were fired by the Associated Press (AP) for allegedly reporting false information in a story on Virginia’s Governor McAuliffe, retracted shortly after its appearance. Now, the national AP has reported speculation as solid fact: no retraction, no repercussions.
    What did AP do? On June 6, before voters had exercised their constitutional rights in seven contests yet to vote, AP announced Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee.

  • Support, prayers for Hampton appreciated

    We want to express our family’s gratitude for the support provided at the Galax breakfast benefit for Luke Hampton.
    The overwhelming support and prayers for Luke after his tragic life-changing accident are greatly appreciated. We are especially grateful for the organization and work of Marlene and Garry Adams and members of Trinity Baptist Church.

  • Time to recognize good customer service

    There have been negative comments about several local businesses. I want to do the opposite and mention local businesses that gave me great service.

    I had two 90-foot pine trees on the edge of a bank that could have crushed my house if they blew over. I asked around for a company with insurance and a license. Ramey’s showed up with a bucket truck and a crane and took down the trees.

    You can imagine the mess. Watching these guys rake and use a blower to get all of the twigs up and hauled away, I knew I picked a good company.

  • Schools, county overcome deficit with teamwork

    Grayson County Public Schools suffered financial turmoil last year with a $900,000 shortfall, which left many in the community concerned and desperately seeking answers as to where so much money disappeared.

    To say things are looking up for the school system just one year later is putting it mildly.

    Last week, school officials announced that they had managed what they were told was impossible: they eliminated the deficit this year, with a closeout budget that landed at an estimated $8 - $11 in the black after covering bills and payroll.

  • Time to declare your independence from meat

    What ever happened to the good old days when our worst worries on the Fourth of July were traffic jams and wayward fireworks?
    A well-warranted worry, according to the Department of Agriculture’s Meat and Poultry Hotline, is food poisoning by nasty E. coli and salmonella bugs hiding in hot dogs and hamburgers at millions of backyard barbecues.
    The hotline’s advice is to grill them longer and hotter. Of course, they avoid mentioning that the high-temperature grilling that kills the bugs also happens to form cancer-causing compounds.

  • Supervisors should have asked before accusing

    It’s something even an elementary school student knows: don’t show up at school without doing your homework.

    Also: never take a test without studying the material.

    A kid can be forgiven for forgetting these rules, and even adults sometimes misunderstand facts. But, we have to hold grown-ups to a higher standard — especially those we elect to hold public office.

  • Positivity, compassion, love can conquer hate

    The local newspapers serve a valuable avenue of communication for the people, but is it fair for you to lay your negative views on all of us continually?
    You are judging and condemning those who have dedicated their lives to serving our country. Maybe we need to ask, “What am I doing for the good of my country or my community.” We are so blessed to live here in God’s mountains and need to be thanking the great source of life every day, rather than constantly complaining.