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Today's Opinions

  • United Way needs our help

    GUEST EDITORIAL

    Twin County United Way needs the community's help.
    Since 1957, through the community's generosity, TCUW has provided millions of dollars to dozens of Twin County non‑profit organizations.
    Now we, like many we serve, have fallen on hard times. Without a substantial increase in donations, our long‑term existence is doubtful.
    Last year, TCUW fell more than 50 percent short of its $215,000 campaign goal. We had to cut by 25 percent contributions to the 26 agencies we serve, dipping into reserves to do so.

  • Mentors make a difference

    January is Mentor Appreciation Month for the Carroll County Public School System.
    Do you have one hour a week that needs a special purpose? Do you have the desire to make a difference in a child's life — give the child a special time just for him or her?
    MAD‑MAC (Make‑a‑Difference/Mentor‑a‑Child) is a program in the Carroll schools, designed to match adult mentors with elementary school children needing additional support.
    The child is paired with a mentor, and the two meet at least once a week on school property.

  • Burning trees could be unhealthy

    After last year's holiday season there was a huge bonfire, far into the rear of a Christmas tree farm in Elk Creek.
    The plumes of smoke fell over miles of acreage. I observed this activity for days, making no mistake of the scent of pine burning.
    Environmental Protection Agency Law prohibits burning of Christmas trees and tree parts, which are a hazardous environmental pollutant. The law is listed on the Federal Register No.1XC 04‑15448.
    The root systems and foliage of trees absorb pesticides and herbicides used at the farms.

  • Citizens free to speak if rules are followed

    GUEST EDITORIAL

  • APCo rate increases excessive

    This is a vote of appreciation for Chris Brooke's excellent reporting on Appalachian Power Company's excessive rate increases ("Power Struggle," Jan. 14).
    Appalachian Power has a stranglehold on our state's economy.
    Not only are my elderly neighbors having trouble keeping warm, these skyrocketing utility rates are making Virginia less attractive to business, compared to North Carolina.

  • Pondering what's to come in 2011

    I dedicate this letter to all who are concerned and worried about everything from a job, to national security.
    Those with a sense of despair, of feeling left out, and pondering what may come.
    2011 beings hope for a change for good — prosperity, more jobs and fewer political sideshows.
    Sad to say that some in our society have hearts that are hardening, and hatred and evil enter in.
    Violence and bloodshed continue to take innocent lives, from police abuse to the horrible tragedy in Tucson, Ariz.

  • Dentists insist we need more fluoride

    How fortunate we are to have area dentists share with local officials how badly we need more fluoride in our drinking water.
    Even though the Centers for Disease Control says we are getting too much fluoride, our dentists insist that we need more.
    Even though a Virginia Tech study shows that we are already getting too much fluoride in food and everything we drink, these dentists insist that we need more fluoride.

  • Conservationist will be missed

    The passing of Phil Hanes on Jan. 16 was a sad occasion for those interested in conservation in the upper New River valley.
    Phil could only be described as a colorful character, always fascinating to be around, and with many and varied philanthropic interests.
    Phil was very active in the effort to conserve private farmland through conservation easements.
    Conservation easements began to be used locally in the early 1990s as a way for farm owners to preserve family lands and manage the burden of estate taxes.