GRINS to...

Summit Church in Oak Ridge for the beautiful ball lights in the large tree on N.C. 68. I travel to work in the dark, and sometimes return home in the dark, and I love seeing that beautiful lighted display!

Oak Ridge Youth Association and Oak Ridge Military Academy for making the right decision to require masks at basketball practices and games.

The nice gentleman who paid for my dinner when I was in New York China Restaurant in Stokesdale on Christmas Eve. Thank you so very much. I will try to pass it on.

All those who still have Christmas lights up. They bring so much cheer and beauty during the times we are going through. Thank you!

The breathtaking joy of classical music, removing you temporarily from this vale of tears with its ethereal heart-stopping beauty. I recommend 89.7FM (WCPE) if you can receive it.

GRIPES to...

The person who equated not wearing a mask to drinking/driving. How stupid. It’s about compliance and control! We all survived just fine before the “pandemic.” Stop being brainwashed by MSM. Liberties don’t end where your fear begins.

High school teachers pushing political agendas in class after recent current events. These class discussions were widespread and should not occur. It’s not your job to tell students what to think, nor should you be creating false narratives!

The person who “cut” my Trump flag down in my yard... and you wonder why people rallied in Washington? We are sick of self-righteous left-wingers. You can’t cut Trump out of my heart!

China Gourmet in Oak Ridge for continuously not being able to accept credit cards. Do you want to stay in business? There are even homeless people who can accept payments on a cell phone these days!

NWO editor and anyone else who sees racism in things like the blue-lined flag. Look what all those false accusations of racism have done to our country.

Editor’s note: In my note last week about the blue-lined flag, I stated facts about it – and I will repeat those facts. Fact: It originated decades ago as a way of showing support for law enforcement – I will add now that for many, that is still the intent of flying the flag. Fact: Some have since come to see the blue-lined flag as a symbol of racism. Nowhere in my editor’s note did I state how I feel personally about the blue-lined flag.

People moving into a quiet, peaceful neighborhood who disturb that peace with their loud vehicles and ATVs. We hear you every time you come and go!

Those who walk/run in the dark, back turned to traffic and in dark clothes. I would be devastated if I hit you. Please wear something light-colored and reflective so you’re more visible – and walk facing traffic so you see approaching cars.

Rio Grande for charging for tomatoes and sour cream on tacos. $1 extra per taco for a dollop of sour cream and tomatoes? I don’t know any other Mexican restaurant that charges extra. Not a fan of nickel and diming.

Editor’s note: Pepe Silva, owner of Rio Grande, confirmed the restaurant charges $2.50 for a regular taco with beef and cheese and $3.50 for a taco supreme, which comes with lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.

Outside the LINES…

The following reader-submitted GRINS and GRIPES express opinions about state and/or national topics, and have been separated from the other grins and gripes as a courtesy to those who do not want to read others’ opinions on state and/or national political and other non-local topics in a local newspaper.

GRINS to...

Minneapolis salon owner Flora Westbrooks, outraged that city officials receive a nice pay raise after her business was one burned down during “peaceful” liberal protests last summer. Her livelihood’s destroyed, but city employees get theirs – and more. Government greed...

GRIPES to...

Those who assaulted America’s democracy. These people who injured police officers who were defending our Capitol are the same individuals flying their “blue-lined flag” next to their tyrannical Trump signs. This proves what your un-American flag really means.

The NC Congressional representatives who support bogus claims and conspiracy theories that fueled the pro-Trump terrorists assaulting our Capitol. They deserve expulsion and will live in infamy in U.S. history.

The media for one-sided reporting of the Capitol riots. I was there with a million-plus peaceful citizens who were amazingly kind to each other. The Capitol was breached by thugs and a million citizens’ safety was compromised to do that. 

Nancy Pelosi, for wasting time and money by impeaching President Trump again, just days before he left office. Couldn’t our representatives find something more constructive to do?

Gov. Roy Cooper, who wants to get rid of disability scholarships. I have high-functioning autism and a scholarship helps my parents pay for me to go to Lionheart Academy, where I feel much more comfortable and have friends.

Editor’s note: To learn more about this issue, search online for articles about the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program and the governor’s position on it.

Nancy Pelosi. I don’t recall Newt Gingrich holding a news conference to sign impeachment papers. It appears President Trump jilted her pretty good. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”