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Opinion

  • Healthcare answers insufficient

    In rebuttal to the Aug. 21 story, U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher did not sound skeptical of the government option for health care to my wife and I.

    We were at the meeting at New River Community College [that was referenced in the story] and we listened to his answers.

    The first person to ask a question wanted to know where was wording in the Constitution that would allow the national government to be involved in health care?

  • The just-announced public utilities for Fancy Gap took two things — a honking big hunk of $8 million in stimulus funds from the federal government and the persistence of the people.

    The everyday folks, who knew there was a need to promote development, asked for help. When the answer wasn't forthcoming, they asked again.

  • A bold mural being painted on front of the Jeff Matthews Museum has caused an uproar among Galax residents, city staff and the museum's board of directors.

    The mural, started last month, remains unfinished until the Galax Planning Commission decides if artists David and Brigette Payseur should continue the painting.

    However, since the mural has gone up, it has attracted attention from many tourists, as well as locals, who never knew the museum even existed.

  • Waddell has high rating

    This is in regard to newspaper accounts of alleged abuse at Waddell Nursing and Rehab Center.

    I’m confident that your reporting accurately represented the facts as alleged. However, your article in terms of what it didn’t say, unintentionally did a serious disservice to the facility, employees and residents.

  • Officials deserve thanks

    The Carroll County administrator and board of supervisors are well deserving of the encouragement of citizens of Carroll County.

    In the past year this board and our administrator have taken Carroll County in such a positive direction.

    We no longer pick up our newspaper to read about an argument or personal vendetta between board members.

    We have progress for Carroll County like there has not been in so many, many years. As a citizen I believe Carroll County has a great future.

  • For decades now, the congressional debate over health care has been so distorted by politics and money that it has been worse than useless — it has been an active impediment to reform of a broken system that is too expensive, serves too few and rations care based on insurance company caprice.

    If the conversation on Capitol Hill has been a national disgrace, what is going on in local meetings all over the country is more disturbing.

  • Writer suggests mural options

    By no stretch of the imagination can you call that sign on the Jeff Matthews Museum a mural.

    The definition of a mural is a picture or decoration — usually a very large one — on a wall or ceiling.

    A mural of Matthews shooting a grizzly bear or an Indian encampment by the creek or of Main Street by [local artist] Raven Bilbrey would be better — or a conglomeration of native species of trees, bushes, wildflowers and galax leaves.

  • The saying goes that two heads are always better than one. Grayson leaders agree, as they seek to use three heads — their own, along with the towns of Independence and Fries — to seek acceptance into Virginia's Enterprise Zone Program.

    The program provides various incentives for qualifying businesses if they create more than four jobs that pay at least 1.75 times the federal minimum wage rate and provide benefits.

  • We met in a small music shop in southern Virginia, some years ago.

    The woodgrain of that violin was not finished to a lustrous sheen, but more to an appearance far beyond its years. We had that in common.

    Overwhelmed by its rustic appeal to the eye, we went home together. That purchase, at the time, was much more a luxury than necessity.

    Not being a musician, our first session was truly a revelation. What had I done? When bow first met strings absolute horror was revealed. That beautiful chunk of wood had no more music within it than its buyer had.

  • Congress poised to raise taxes

    Many Americans are beginning to question whether our elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, have abandoned their constituents to pursue a party-oriented agenda.

    It seems that no matter how loud and often citizens demand a return to a common sense approach to governing, very few elected officials are listening.

    Rep. Rick Boucher is charged with the responsibility of acting in the best interest of the 9th District, but refuses to talk directly to individuals he represents.

  • Universal health care a must

    As we have watched business after business close in the past few years and unemployment levels reach unprecedented highs, there is a hidden cost we have not considered.

    How many of those folks who found themselves unemployed also found themselves joining the millions of people in this country who do not have health insurance?

    How many children are going without adequate medical care because their families cannot afford or no longer qualify for health insurance?

  • It may be impossible to find a better example about the importance of wearing safety belts than the three young women who escaped a dramatic accident July 11 with their lives.

    The wreck was scary enough to come straight out of an action movie — a car goes into a skid on Interstate 77 due to hydroplaning in a thunderstorm, bounces off a guardrail, shoots across two lanes, strikes the other guardrail, springs over it and goes airborne, flipping as it falls down a steep ravine in Fancy Gap and coming to a stop right side up.

  • America’s health care system is a financial and medical wreck, a collection of competing interests and incentives that guarantee inefficiency and reward sloth.

  • Our barbecue is the best

    I was one of the judges for the Smoke on the Mountain barbeque contest held recently in Galax.

    I would like thank all who had a hand in putting this GREAT affair on. I’m sure that many residents of Galax had a role in this.

  • If wronged, keep your faith strong

    I am writing this letter as a reminder to myself as well as to possibly help others. I hope readers find peace with the contents.

    Perhaps putting it into written words will sink the truth into my own heart. One can hope.

    What do you do when you have been wronged by many people because, in their opinion, they could do the job better than you have?

    What do you do when you have been lied about, and to, and talked about in circles that continuously grow?

  • It was one of the area's most finest dining destinations, but now it's gone.

    Bye-bye, Bogeys. It was the spot for dinner dates, dining after a round of golf, relaxing with a cocktail or attending fundraisers.

    The restaurant had to shut its doors last Saturday due to the stress of the economy. However, it went out with a bang, hosting its annual fundraiser for Project Lifesavers on the last day.

  • Nursing home staff praised

    I would like to take this opportunity to let everyone know what good people are employed at Waddell Nursing Home and Rehab in Galax.

    Our mother and dad were both at Waddell for almost three years. While there, both received above-average care.

    All the nurses, CNAs and everyone involved went out of their way to provide the special care our parents required while they were at the nursing home.

  • Cooperation between law enforcement led to 742 fugitives being taken off the streets in the Western District of Virginia, making the area safer for us all.

    That cooperation obviously paid off, so why don't local, state and federal authorities work together more often?

    Three of our local police departments joined forces with various other agencies under the direction of the U.S. Marshal Service for a month-long fugitive apprehension effort last month.

  • Festival was a let-down

    For many years I have been coming up from Florida to the joyful Galax Leaf & String Festival.

    This year the music was very much reduced, making it less attractive for visitors.

    Also, it was strange to have unknown groups on the stage while top ones like Whitetop Mountain Band and Slate Mountain Ramblers had to play in the street. It must have been insulting to them.

    I sure hope it will be better next year. I love Galax and old-time music!

    Jack Shaver

    Hollywood, Fla.

  • In politics, the two sides in a debate take the same information and make it look as good or as bad as possible in an effort to convince others that only their view is right.

    When considering the growing debt held by the Carroll County Public Service Authority, there's certainly room for debate.

    The upsides include possible economic development, growth and jobs. The only downside appear to be the cost.