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Opinion

  • Editor’s note: This letter was signed by the mayor and city manager of Galax, and the supervisors’ chairmen and county administrators for Carroll and Grayson counties. The original letter of 491 words was reduced to meet the 350-word limit policy for letters to the editor.

  • Many of our readers have voiced their disturbance over an ongoing animal abuse investigation involving a cat that was found covered in duct tape, with a lit cigarette taped to its mouth.
    Since the report was made public, several volunteers have stepped forward to offer reward money for information that could help police find the suspect in this case.
    As of Friday, the reward total had reached $750.
    Some my have found humor in the plight of Tiger the cat, but animal abuse is a heinous act in itself, and should be taken very seriously.

  • Brian Spencer is chairman of the Carroll County School Board

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  • UPDATED 10/20/11:

    The Gazette accepted letters to the editor concerning the Nov. 8 election until noon on Oct. 20, for publication in the Oct. 24 newspaper.

    No more campaign-related letters will be accepted.

    Rebuttal letters ONLY will be accepted until noon on Oct. 27, for publication in the Oct. 31 newspaper. Rebuttals may only address factual errors in previously published letters that appeared in The Gazette. A difference of opinion with a letter writer is not appropriate for a rebuttal.

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  • Editor's note: On June 10, the Grayson County Board of Supervisors held a zoning hearing to consider The Oracle Institute's request for a special use permit to create a spiritual retreat in the county. The board heard from 29 speakers, most of whom vehemently opposed the idea on religious grounds — which are not to be considered in a zoning hearing. The board rejected the request that night, saying it would be detrimental to citizens' health, safety and welfare.

  • Those who visit our area often speak of the warm and inviting atmosphere, the acceptance they feel and the friendly people they meet.
    So, where was that hospitality at last week’s public hearing for a special use permit sought by The Oracle Institute to create a “spiritual community” and learning center in Grayson?

  • Once again, it takes out-of-towners to remind us how good we have it in the Twin Counties.

    After last week's "familiarization tour" for tourism officials from all over Virginia, the visitors couldn't find enough good things to say about our underappreciated area. They enjoyed shopping in our unique shops, visiting our attractions, hearing our music and seeing our natural wonders.

  • Not to be premature, but it looks like a new day might be dawning in the Twin Counties — one that holds the promise of an amicable relationship between the Town of Hillsville and Carroll County.

    Though the town and county have cooperated in the past when they expected mutual benefits, it seemed the officials for the two localities did not see eye to eye very often.

    An atmosphere of hostility seemed to be the norm, as water and sewer disagreements stretched on for half a dozen years or more.

  • “Write what you know” is a common piece of advice for aspiring writers, and it's a good one.

    Most of us have something that we feel passionately about, that we'd love to write about and have others read, if only we had the proper venue.

    We have opinions we want to share and see what others think.

    Maybe you've thought about being a citizen journalist, but didn't know where to start?

  • During state fiscal year 2009, Virginia Adult Protective Services investigated more than 15,600 reports of adult abuse, neglect and exploitation.

    Fifty-nine percent of these reports were substantiated.

    During May, in recognition of Adult Abuse Prevention Month, The Carroll County Department of Social Services is conducting a campaign to inform our community about the abuse of vulnerable adults. We hope to bring the tragedy of adult abuse to the community's attention.

  • The recently-passed health care reform legislation will affect every American citizen.

    On a matter of this broad scope, it is essential that members of Congress place the interests of their constituents first and rise above political party interests where necessary to do so.

    It is clear both from Rep. Rick Boucher’s vote and from the reasons for his vote that our congressman understands this necessity.

  • Girl Scouts in Carroll County honored their adult leaders April 22 on Girl Scout Appreciation Day during National Volunteer Week.

    Our dedicated leaders give of their time to plan and lead fun, educational Girl Scout troop meetings and field trips.

  • The economic impact of having an airport must be somewhat like flying through fog — sometimes it’s hard to see.

    But the recent award of the massive earth moving project to create the runway safe area can bring the impact of the Twin County Airport into sharper focus.

    Take, for example, the low bid supplied by local contractor Sowers Construction of a little less than $700,000 to grade the area around the runway into a flat surface.

  • When it comes to construction, the Great Recession has caused the bottom to fall out of the housing market.

    This slowdown has caused surviving construction companies to clamor for work — and increased competitiveness for remaining projects.

    As a result, the construction projects that have gone forward have actually benefitted from lower-than-normal prices.

    The earth-moving project for the runway safe area at the Twin County Airport is a good example, as it came in at about half the initial engineer's estimate, or a little less than $700,000.

  • A recent article in The Gazette touted the many “benefits” of virtual academies.

    However, Carroll School Superintendent Greg Smith failed to give the whole story. Comparing parent-directed home school to public virtual school is like comparing breastfeeding to infant formula, which is an inferior, watered-down version with the real risks hidden.

    When parents enroll their child in a full-time, virtual school, they sign away much of their parental right to direct their child's education.

  • This weekend is a very big event for Galax and the Twin Counties. Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is holding its grand opening, with a colorful black tie gala on Friday night and then a Parade of the Arts on Saturday, with something for everyone.

    I do hope that you will be coming to celebrate!

  • The world has a big problem with homeless people, yet no one seems to help them.

    We are all equal but they have no choice but to survive outdoors. We look at them like they are scum, and think if they wanted to they could have made something of themselves.

    In all cases that's not true. Many homeless people are veterans, who served our country to help us. What do we do for them? Really, we do nothing at all.

    The government needs to pay respect to our veterans. They fought for our country, and went through a whole lot more than anyone should.

  • This is in response to The Gazette’s editorial, which implied that the Grayson County Public School system lacks sound fiscal planning.

    A comparison was made between Carroll County Public Schools and Grayson County Public Schools, but these two systems have completely different funding issues.

    The Carroll school system is fortunate to have excellent support from its board of supervisors. The Carroll supervisors provide approximately $2 million to the school system above minimum funding required by the state.