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Opinion

  • Thousands of animals euthanized

    This information is to let everyone know how many pets are euthanized each year right in your own community.

    The statistics for dogs and cats for 2008 for Carroll and Grayson counties and Galax show there were 1,000 owner surrenders, 784 strays, 202 reclaimed by their owners, and 214 were adopted.

    The total was 1,928, of which 1,479 were euthanized. This means that 76.7 percent of dogs that entered the shelter were euthanized.

  • The Grayson County School Board has requested only level funding for our school system for the upcoming school year.

    This budget request is conservative and includes significant cuts in personnel, transportation, instructional materials and services.

    Our budget supports academic programs, career and technical education, technology, band, arts and sports.

    Our children in Grayson County deserve the same educational opportunities as children in surrounding counties.

  • Holly Padgett Parker of Raleigh, N.C., is a Galax native and the city was her home for 27 years. “I miss it every single day,” she says.

    Let’s talk a little bit about dialect and colloquialisms.

    A few years ago, I was offered a hostess position at a very ritzy restaurant in downtown Raleigh, N.C. The owner and my company had done some business together and the owner was so impressed with my demeanor and professionalism that he asked me to come to work on a part-time basis and train potential hostesses about customer service and attitude.

  • Money is hard to come by, and Grayson County is working on a new program that could help spend taxpayers' money more wisely.

    Recently, the county decided to embark on a plan to open a Day Reporting Center, similar to one in Giles County. The idea is to take people with minor felony charges — such as bad checks or minor drug violations — and put them to work in the county, instead of in a jail cell. The idea will cost the county around $5,000 to get started, but could save thousands of dollars each year.

  • No excuse for rude behavior

    How can a school teacher be so rude to parents and get away with it?

    I talked to the principal on many occasions. And all he said was that he would have a little talk with her. But she is being so rude again.

    How many times is it going to take for them to do something about it? They have no right to tell you how to punish your child

    Like for instance to break a child from pulling his shoes and socks off, to take them outside barefoot and it’s a cold and rainy day. Or to hit his rump a little bit harder.

  • Grayson County Commonwealth's Attorney Douglas Vaught appears to be a decent and caring person and — to his substantial credit — he does respond to his mail. Others in Grayson County governance, including Vaught's predecessor, refuse to put pencil to paper. I want to share an issue on which he and I disagree, as it forms an introduction to a much larger contemporary issue.

  • Boucher voting record 'pro-abortion'

    At a town hall meeting in March, Rep. Rick Boucher responded to questions about the inappropriately named Freedom of Choice Act.

    He stated opposition to radical proee'abortion provisions in question and denied that such a bill existed.

  • Dog bear hunting is cruel

    I would like to reply to the March 18 article “Bear License About Control, Not Revenue.”

    I find the article offensive to Virginia hunters by indicating they were out to kill anything they found just because the species was a legal kill. The hunters I know don’t just blow something away because they came across it.

  • As our ongoing series, "Adapting to the Economy" has shown, local businesses are reshaping the way they do business in order to survive. We've been impressed by their ingenuity.

    They're doing it on their own, with their own initiative and creativity, not relying on government handouts or taxpayer dollars.

    As the national economy falters, it's encouraging to see our hometown entrepreneurs try new things, scrap what doesn't work and, in some cases, reinvent themselves for today's world.

  • A Laurel Elementary fifth-grader whose family could symbolize the whole immigration debate provided a fresh — and eye-opening — perspective to the President of the United States in just a few hundred words.

    Desiree Nguyen was much closer to the point than a pundit’s fist-pounding rage, broad exaggerations and elaborate scapegoating, as she shared her personal experience as it relates to the conundrum of undocumented workers in the United States.

  • It seems small business development rather than large industry recruitment is the way to go, especially here in Galax and the Twin Counties, after the Small Business Development Center recently announced that it helped gain funding for 100 businesses in the past three years, with 96 of those still operating.

    Though a large manufacturing company willing to put hundreds back to work would be nice, when the economy turns bad, it seems large industries leave the threat of hundreds being stranded without jobs all at once.

  • Carroll County educators remain hopeful that federal stimulus funds will work as advertised.

    That's a good thing to hope for. The long-stated purpose of the stimulus funds, after all, involves saving or creating jobs.

    Educators have pointed out that using money coming directly from the federal government, along with the funds going through the state, could save around 20 positions in Carroll County Public Schools alone.

    In a region that continues to fight job losses, every position spared seems like the silver lining in the dark economic cloud.

  • Ban wrong way to end smoking

    While the lifelong non-smoker side of me applauds the new Virginia smoking ban, my rebellious redneck side groans in disbelief.

    How many more laws that take away personal choices are going to be enacted? I have a great disdain for any kind of smoking, but I do believe it’s one’s right, if inclined.

    Just the same as it is my right to refuse to do business in a smoking establishment. That’s freedom of personal choice.

  • Listen to constituents' opinions

    Once again, we have in Grayson County a prime example of our county supervisors voting in opposition to the will of the people. See “Grayson approves Spirit Harbor request,” March 16.

    For the past 20 years, governments on every level have repeatedly and consistently voted contrary to the will of the majority of the people.

    This amounts to taxation without representation and disenfranchisement. Last time this happened, our forefathers fought a revolution over it. Think it won’t happen again? Think again!

  • Jesus stood for love

    In 1604, King James I of England initiated the process for a new interpretation of the Christian Bible, primarily to consolidate the ecclesiology and orthodoxy of the Church of England under royal control.

    He gathered 47 scholars (notably, all members of the Church of England), and seven years later they published what has become known as the King James version of the Bible.

  • It’s a fine line to walk between appeasing those who want Grayson County to remain a rural community of vast farm land and open fields, and those wanting the county to bring new businesses in.

    For the past five months, three developers have fought against some vocal members of the Fox Knob community while trying to get approval to bring a 252-site recreational park to Grayson.

    Last week, the Grayson board of supervisors approved that permit, and in the bigger picture, it makes sense.

  • Fancy Gap doesn't have to reinvent the wheel to grow as a community. With its dedicated people and scenic treasures, the Carroll County hamlet already has a strong foundation for success.

    Sure, maybe installing public water and sewer would make a dramatic impact on the number and type of businesses that set up shop there next to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • We've heard a lot of legislators griping lately about the amount of "pork" — spending that benefits a few, usually in the sponsoring politician's home district — in the new federal stimulus package.

    But one man's pork is another's prize. Think about this: all the dire local needs in the Twin Counties — better roads, money for school construction and teachers, funding for utility projects to drive the economy — probably seem pretty porky to politicians from other parts of the nation, but this is the stuff we beg for.

  • Resort could cause problems

    We have been following the reporting on the zoning variance request for the trailer park on Foxwood Lane. We are in full support of the planning commission’s decision to not grant a special use permit.

    Our concern isn’t that there will be a shortage of angelic retirees, all of whom will spend their time in church and donating to local charities but, the overall long-term usage of land in Grayson County has to be considered.

  • Extensive work and marketing has gone into the redevelopment of the old Washington Mills site in Fries, and on Feb. 1, requests for proposals were sent throughout the country.

    The requests mandate that a prospective developer be willing to complete at least three of the projects on the 13.3-acre site, and invest a minimum $6 million.

    We urge the project's management team — comprised of Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority, the Town of Fries and Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development — to seriously consider all proposals.