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home : archive : archive February 17, 2020

2/6/2020 4:31:00 PM
Outside the LINES
The following reader-submitted GRIPE expresses an opinion about a national political topic, and has been separated as a courtesy to those who are disturbed by encountering others' opinions on national topics in a local newspaper.

Donald Trump and Fox Network for hijacking the most iconic, unifying sporting event for Americans (Super Bowl) by airing the Hannity interview during pre-game, where Trump insulted and lied about other politicians. Honesty and integrity should matter.

Oak Ridge resident Rita Lewandowski is leading efforts to have the town of Oak Ridge consider incorporating a horse trail into its master plan for park property. After a gripe about the trail was published last week, in which the griper criticized Lewandowski and other trail supporters for their efforts to allow a horse trail on park property, she asked to respond.

"We are currently raising funds to pay for the trail," Lewandowski wrote in an email to the Northwest Observer. "Our initial goal was $20,000 and we have raised more than half that in the last three months. Our goal will, of course, change once we have contractors' more definite figures about the cost of the project, but we have not and do not plan to ask the town to funnel any money into the horse trail or arena that we are campaigning for. Our goal is to lessen the impact on our fellow taxpayers. We also have a volunteer crew willing to build the actual trail at no cost, and help maintain it once built."

Those with questions or concerns about the horse trail are invited to contact Lewandowski directly at

GRINS to...

The 40-year engineer from Henson Farms for attempting to provide valuable information to the Summerfield Planning and Zoning Board. We appreciate your efforts.

Dr. Dudak and her staff at Veterinary Hospital of Oak Ridge - especially Holly and Beth - for their kindness, compassion and guidance through a heartbreaking decision to put down our dog. We are so grateful for you.

Eric Bedal with Vulcan Materials Company for giving Congressman Mark Walker a tour of the quarry this past Veterans Day, Nov. 11. (And sorry for the belated grin!)

The house with all the beautiful Christmas balls off I-73 South near mile marker 115. I sure appreciated seeing them at 4:45 a.m. on my way to work.

Dillon's Tree Service. Fair pricing, friendly, prompt and excellent job. They cleaned everything so well when leaving you would never know they were there!

Edgefield Plant & Stone. Over the winter break they were closed on a nice day, but we didn't know. They still sold us the rocks we needed "because it was a perfect day for yardwork." Thank you!

The friendly and helpful workers at the Old Mill. It is nice to always see a smiling face when I enter the historic mill, and I appreciate your hard work and dedication.

The folks involved in getting the mural on the building in downtown Stokesdale. I know it's been up for a while, but I enjoy seeing it and it adds something special to the downtown area.

Odyssey Dental staff on Summerfield Road. Very professional, warm and kind, with state-of-the-art equipment.

Rockingham County commissioners for approving a Dollar General on busy, growing U.S. 158. The very small, angry group against it did not speak for most of us who recognize the area's growth and the need for time-saving convenience.

Oak Ridge Swim Club. Thank you for removing the old oil/fat container from the parking lot so soon after I brought it to your attention so that people walking past the property don't continue to overflow it with trash.

The people picking up trash on Northwest School Road on Feb. 1! Wish it could also be done on Bunch, Alcorn and Old Oak Ridge roads.

Kristin at Olmsted Orthodontics for always having a smile on her face and being so friendly to each patient she interacts with. They are blessed to have her.

GRIPES to...

Those wanting a horse trail in Oak Ridge Town Park. How many horse owners are in Oak Ridge? Why not do something to benefit most, or all, Oak Ridge citizens, not just a select few or out-of-towners?

Councilmen Doug Nodine and Jim Kinneman for objecting to accepting state money to fund surveillance cameras in our park. The audacity of you to consider turning down state funding for a project that Oak Ridge residents absolutely want and need!

The person griping about labs running free on Lemons Road. There are numerous dogs running free there sometimes - that's part of living in the country. The only thing those labs will do to your kids is lick them to death.

Happy Tails for selling a puppy with a potentially fatal medical condition that we found out about just two days after purchase, and then not even taking responsibility for it after repeated phone calls. We are furious and heartbroken.

Editor's note: We are in the process of doing our journalistic duty by researching these and other claims we've received regarding Happy Tails, and could use your help - if you have had either a very positive or a very negative experience with Happy Tails, please email

Whoever decided to install a caution turn arrow to oncoming traffic at the N.C. 150 and Lake Brandt Road intersection, for the Lake Brandt Road traffic. Drivers turning left cannot see approaching traffic coming uphill both ways, causing accidents or near accidents.

Oak Ridge Town Council members who think we should spend $200,000 to repair an old house because you like old houses. That's ridiculous, and $200,000 is more than my house cost. Give us a tax cut instead!

Second Amendment advocates who would rather put guns in the hands of the mentally ill versus modifying the current laws. It doesn't mean we want to take your guns - I own guns, but not a 30+ round clip.

People criticizing those wanting a horse trail in Oak Ridge, especially when they're willing to raise money and volunteer time to make it happen. Isn't it at least worth considering if they're willing to contribute money and effort?

Stokesdale Town Council for allowing another used car lot. Please change the water tower sign to "Welcome to Stokesdale - Used Car Lot Capital of North Carolina."

Editor's note: Based on the town of Stokesdale's current ordinances, a new and/or used car sale business is one of many types of business permitted in certain locations within the town limits, including within the town's commercial district - and the market is apparently a healthy one for car sale businesses. If you're interested in the town prohibiting any type of business that is currently allowed, we suggest you contact the town council and Planning Board and ask them to consider changing the town's ordinance. Or, perhaps they could add more requirements to enhance the exterior aesthetics for all businesses that locate in the town's commercial district. Regardless, there is a process that must be followed and again, it must be done through ordinance amendments rather than the council picking out a single business and voting to prohibit it.

The griper in NWO's Jan. 16 issue (regarding robbery at McDonald's). Give up your MBA, $100K+ per year salary, and check weapons at the door of the local McD's for minimum wage, since you're obviously better at this. Or, just go eat elsewhere!

Area custom builders who won't build more houses in the $300k-$400k price point within the Northern and Northwest school districts. Not everyone can afford a half-million-dollar home.

Town of Stokesdale. I'm all about feeding the birds, but using plastic milk jugs and soda bottles as bird feeders in front of Town Hall isn't very classy. I bet they would eat at the back of the park, too!

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