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Opinion

  • Put an end to partisan politics

    It appears that Ted Reavis from Carroll County has unleashed yet another baseless partisan attack against Rep. Rick Boucher.

    Reavis simply does not get the public mood that it’s time to put partisan politics aside and work in a bipartisan fashion with Democrats and Republicans cooperating together in order to solve our nation’s serious economic problems.

    This time, Reavis has attacked Boucher for something that the congressman has absolutely no control over.

  • Say no to Medicaid funding cut

    More than 62 percent of residents of Virginia’s nursing homes are sponsored by Medicaid.

    Most Medicaid recipients in nursing homes were productive citizens, teachers, policemen, farmers, etc., who simply have outlived their savings.

    In caring for them last year, Virginia’s long-term care facilities lost $78 million. Now Gov. Kaine recommends that the General Assembly reduce funding for Medicaid by another $40 million.

  • It was encouraging to see Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the General Assembly clear the air between them and compromise on a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

    What for so long was denounced as a challenge to personal choice and a detriment to businesses was finally seen for what it really is — a public health issue. Choosing to smoke is a personal choice, but doing it in a confined space can infringe on others' rights to be healthy and smoke-free.

  • Galax Police Chief Rick Clark opened his annual crime report to city council last Monday by first noting that he was accused by a caller in The Gazette's Reader Hotline for being oblivious to some forms of crime that happen in Galax.

    But instead of knocking the Galax Police Department, we should take the time to praise the officers for being proactive and for stepping into harm's way for their fellow citizens.

    The department is not just watching crime happen. It is doing something about it.

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  • It’s sad news that the economic plague is beginning to take its toll on the area, most recently eliminating Goody’s Family Clothing.

    Despite all the gloom and doom, the City of Galax continues to stay focused on finding other sources of revenue for itself and seeking “creative” forms of employment for others.

    And it is encouraging that economic projects, such as the construction of Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, clearly has the support of the community, as well as artisans from as far as Raleigh, N.C.

  • Spirit Harbor permit should be denied

    The special use permit requested by Spirit Harbor LLC, should not be approved.

    If one looks critically at the plan submitted by the developers, several concerns are clearly evident.

    The first few pages of the proposal are a description of the business and marketing plans. The discussion of the business plan is very limited, and seems to be based more on wishful thinking than sound business planning and marketing analysis.

  • Most people just aren't equipped to think extraordinary dangers are present in their everyday lives, but firefighters are.

    When called upon they face down the flames, and these emergency responders know the importance of prevention and preparation.

    Some elements of prevention are so simple, so mundane, their great importance can easily slip a civilian's mind.

  • Time to get things done in America

    2009 begins with a new president, new Congress and an alleged attitude of bipartisanship and a new way government does things.

    But, sad to say, the oddballs, the weak links and dumb butts of 2008 spill into the new year.

    President Obama proposed spending of some $825 billion dollars to jumpstart the economy. The GOP leadership balks.

  • Yes, Jesus judged — and so can I

    There are two subjects I’d like to address.

    Responding to Patrick Butler’s Jan. 12 letter, is my Bible the only one that contains Matthew 21: 12-13 and Mark 11: 15-17, where Jesus went on a rampage and drove all the money changers out of the Temple?

    Is my Bible the only one that contains Matthew 12:34 and 23:33 where Jesus vehemently calls the Pharisees snakes?

  • Grayson County will decide this week between three water options for the new school being built in the western end of the county.

    Option 1 included a straight line to the school along Virginia 16 with 40 potential hookups. Option 2 adds to that a loop around Grange Hollow Road with 18 more potential hookups. Option 3 would service only the school.

    In order to get the most use out of taxpayers' money, the county should go with the $1.1 million Option 2.

  • Not to get all sentimental about 2008 or anything, but we're bound to look back nostalgically one day and say, "Boy, that year really sucked."

    Think of the year that just wrapped up as a motion picture. It was kind of a sequel to a bad movie (2007!) with a similar plot — layoffs and politics and high gas prices, oh my! — and the same characters. And, it managed to be almost as stinky.

  • With the tumultuous 2008 coming to a relatively quiet (as I write this, anyway) close, it's time to think about the year ahead.

    Looking back, this was a year that we almost wish we could do over. It began with a series of brutal murders, and was marked (or is that marred?) by several animal cruelty cases and a series of layoffs and closings due to a floundering economy.

    Now, here are some thoughts to consider in 2009:

  • Frank Levering of Cana is author of “Welcome to the Country,” available in stores and online at Ballyshannonfund.org.

    The American poet Theodore Roethke observes in one of his poems that, “In a dark time the eye begins to see.”

    With dark economic times upon us, here’s hoping that our collective cultural “eye” will begin to see the central importance of farming to our economic and social wellee'being.

  • If the much-ballyhooed economic stimulus package from the federal government can create jobs, it's hard to imagine a place where that money could be better spent than the Twin Counties.

    The manufacturing job base was shrinking even before the recession struck the nation as a whole. Fewer jobs means less revenue for local governments, and less revenue means less money in the coffers for projects to benefit the area.

  • Make peace with greetings

    In the Jan. 5 edition of the Gazette, I counted seven Readers’ Hotline calls regarding a previous caller’s thoughts that “Happy Holidays” should be used instead of “Merry Christmas.”

    Frankly, I don’t care which one a person uses, since judging someone solely on the basis of a term they use or don’t use is akin to judging an entire steak based on one bite.

  • Against cruelty, even in country

    I am a country girl, a regular red-meat-eating Republican redneck from a place just as rural as Carroll County, and just about as enlightened.

    That’s okay. I don’t mind unenlightened. But what I do mind is people just assuming that folks in Carroll County think puppy mills like David Winesett’s are okay.

    I am sure they don’t. I am sure they are just as horrified and outraged as I am. They just don’t know how to stop it.

  • It's far too easy to forget the mistakes of the past, as they recede further and further into the rearview mirror.

    All it takes is another near-tragedy to remind us that some simple protective measures still have not been taken more than one year after a tragic accident that left two women dead and three others injured.

    On Dec. 10, 2007, a car struck a propane tank at a laundromat in Fries, and the gas that leaked as a result ignited into a deadly fireball.

  • Despite the sad news for the area that a cabinet manufacturer has resigned — possibly just temporarily — its interest in expanding its facility into the city due to a failing economy nationwide, there's still hope for Galax and the Twin Counties through alternatives, like The Crooked Road, to keep the local economy moving forward.

  • Real tree looks better

    I think the county made the right decision to remove the artificial Christmas tree from the middle of the sidewalk on the Old Carroll County Courthouse lawn.

    I can understand their concern about the safety hazard.

    In this day and time of lawsuits, if someone tripped over one of the stakes or cables holding up the artificial Christmas tree, the county would have been held responsible.