.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Opinion

  • The Grayson County Board of Supervisors feels it is important to communicate and inform citizens on important issues, and from time to time to provide relevant facts that impact or have potential to impact taxpayers of Grayson County.

    The board does not wish to perpetuate any back-and-forth regarding school funding, nor interject any opinion about fellow elected officials.

    We all serve an important role and the board has been, and will continue to be, a committed partner to education.

  • Budget cutting for Carroll County Public Schools may feel painful, but the hurt can't go nearly as deep as other divisions in the state and even in the Twin County area.

    It's probably not too much of a stretch to call Carroll schools a model of fiscal responsibility for anticipating from a long way off the budget crisis that has caught so many divisions off guard this year.

    The proposed 2010-2011 schools budget marks the third year Carroll administrators have decided not to hire new employees to fill positions that have recently become vacant.

  • Obsessing about a far-off border can't be healthy or good for morale.

    Most critics of U.S. immigration policy from the Twin Counties probably have never laid eyes on, stood at or passed over the divide between our country and our neighbor to the south. They just know by anecdotal evidence that it's a somewhat porous place where not every foreign national follows all the bureaucratic procedures in order to cross and to enter "The Land of Opportunity."

  • Last week it was announced that California-based Med-Fit Systems, Inc. had come to the rescue of more than 100 people about to lose their jobs in Grayson County.

    Leaders of the 23-year-old physical therapy and senior care products provider offered 115 of the 170-plus employees a position with the newly named business in Grayson and vowed to return to full staff within 36 months.

    Grayson leaders worked diligently for several months to keep as many jobs as possible in an area suffering from a 12 percent unemployment rate.

    Now the real work begins.

  • I am writing to express concerns former Gov. Kaine's budget reduction proposal as it pertains to Medicaid home- and community-based programs.

    Any one of the proposals would have an extremely negative impact on providing care for some of Virginia's most frail and vulnerable citizens.

    In combination, they will devastate Virginia's home- and community-based care system.

    I am keenly aware of the commonwealth's fiscal condition and recognize that this past year has been challenging.

  • Winter portends a perilous number of driving pitfalls, but patchy pavement doesn't usually lead the pack of problems.

    But this winter has presented a particularly potent set of potholes for motorists to pass through.

    The proof in the pudding can be found in a long line of damaged vehicles forced to the shoulder of Interstate 77, near the 11 mile marker of the northbound lanes.

    There were reports of dozens of disabled vehicles needing repairs to wheels and tires as a result of dipping into large depressions, causing sudden deflations.

  • It was with sadness that we learned last week that the "EAR"resistable animal rescue organization in Grayson County was about to close because of a lack of funding.

    In its brief life, the non-profit group provided a humane alternative to the animal shelter, saving the lives of dozens of animals that were neglected, abused, abandoned or from families that no longer had the means to care for them.

    The operation soon realized that it, too, was being abandoned by donors who, in this dog of an economy, were no longer able to help.

  • Finally, the anticipation is over.

    Chestnut Creek School of the Arts' renovations were complete in late 2009, a slew of Galax city workers and volunteers helped full- and part-time staff move into the former First National Bank building in downtown Galax last week and classes will begin today, Monday, weather permitting.

  • If there are problems in Carroll's emergency services department, they weren't on display as many members of fire and rescue from across the county responded to the Briarleigh Court blaze Jan. 9.

    If one could see behind the firefighters' breathing apparatus, no doubt their faces would show concern for the 37 people living inside the apartment complex. Alongside that emotion, the rescuers' faces also reflected their determination to get everyone out of harm's way.

  • As children, we can’t wait till we are teenagers. Age 16 comes and we can’t wait to be 21. Twenty-one comes and we can’t wait to be 30.

    On it goes, waiting to retire, and even that has been extended.

    Each year we lose someone we care about to death. The gathering for that, too, is growing smaller and smaller.

    In the 1980s, people began wanting a sense of belonging and the search for generations past became a must in nearly every family.

  • On a warm July day back in 2008, Grayson leaders broke ground on the first county school construction program in more than 25 years.

    Superintendent Elizabeth Thomas said that day that "young people deserve a school equipped with the latest technology."

    Former County Administrator Bill Ring stated that with the new facility, students "don't have to take a back seat anymore."

    Seventeen months later, a beautiful school stands where an open field once was, ready to educate the future of Grayson County.

  • Smoking a privilege, not a right

    I’ve read the Hotline calls of irate smokers (and one non-smoker) who claim their rights were trampled by the recent law going into effect that bans smoking in restaurants.

    I certainly understand their anger, given how unreasonable it is to ask them to walk 20 feet to the door, open it, and stand in the open air to smoke. How unreasonable!

  • Foresight is a thing that's refreshing to find in government on any level.

    It's even more rare when desperation seems to run rampant, as it did while officials worked on their finances in the midst of the Great Recession last year.

    But the Carroll County Public Schools leadership managed to both avoid budgetary pitfalls and help prepare to meet future fiscal challenges for 2010.

    The federal government stepped in to help localities avoid crippling layoffs through the recovery act. Many places used this one-time infusion of cash as a short-term fix.

  • Many memorable events marked 2009, but most we'd like to forget.

    It was a year of economic turmoil, swine flu freak-outs, bank robbers in fake wigs and partisan political pandemonium.

    A bear got loose in a Hillsville corn maze at Halloween, but Carroll County punished dogs by enacting a trespassing law aimed at them.

    Two women were fired for taking nude pictures of nursing home residents. Why, we don't know. Is there a market for “Grandpas Gone Wild” videos?

  • Country road is not NASCAR track

    I live in a small community with tranquil woods, hills dotted with cattle and pretty little farms and houses.

    However, the country two-lane road that cuts through our sleepy village connects U.S. 58 with Interstate 77. This is a shortcut or bypass of the 58/I-77 intersection, and is the subject of my complaint.

    What used to be a rural winding country lane has turned into a veritable Autobahn with no posted speed, no traffic signals, no stop signs.

  • Senior programs praised

    I have been meaning to write a letter to praise the senior program at the Galax Recreation Center.

    I have taken advantage of many parties observed during the summer, fall and Christmas season. It is always a joy to see old friends there.

    I attend the fun bingo games each month, with Michael Dees calling out the numbers. There are usually close to 70 people that attend. I applaud Mike in his many efforts to make the center a fun, user-friendly place.

  • Sometimes the realization of years of planning and working and dreaming are not announced with fireworks or fanfare.

    Sometimes, you just realize that a long-promised change in the state of things has happened.

    Such is the case with Galax's mission to become a "cultural district," a community devoted to the visual and performing arts, centered around the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts downtown.

    The school is still months away from its grand opening, but already there's a feeling in the air, an electricity sparked by creative minds.

  • The Grayson County School System is making every effort possible to achieve accreditation division-wide, an undertaking that should earn them some “extra credit” on their school report card.

    The school system has only one school remaining — Fries Middle — to achieve that goal.

    With less than 40 schools throughout Virginia fully accredited for the 2009-10 school year, the school administrators know the importance of achieving this goal, and they have responded.

  • It would be difficult to overstate the importance of volunteers and the services they provide to the community.

    Those who volunteer share their time, energy and knowledge with friends, neighbors, family and strangers, all while sacrificing their own comfort, to do some good.

  • Greeting open to interpretation

    I’ve noticed recent postings in the Readers’ Hotline about the meaning of the word “evening.”

    I grew up in New England. I may be a Yankee by birth, but I had no choice in the matter. I’m a Southerner by choice. And in New England, the word “evening” means dusk or 6 p.m., whichever comes first, and everybody there understands that as the meaning of the word.

    And, when I lived there, I used that meaning of the word.