Letters to the editor - Monday (10-7-2013)

  • Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013 12:35 a.m.

Commissioners turning backs on vets

It appears that Rowan County commissioners are getting ready to pull the rug from underneath our county’s 18,000 military veterans to save a mere $26,000 a year. This is very disturbing.

When I returned from Vietnam, nobody said “thank you” or had a parade for me. That was OK because I was a “big boy,” and could take care of myself. I believed in what I and a million other guys and gals did there, but that is another story. Many were young and uninitiated to the world around them upon return and really needed help with their out-of-military lives. Some got help; others did not.

The whole country supported the war on terrorism and our ventures into Iraq and Afghanistan. Great welcomes home to returning deployees and thanks from innumerable corners. Our presidents and Congress pledged to support them, and every town and city in America conducted “thank you for your service” events. Why cannot Rowan County do the same for her vets?

Now our commissioners are cutting a single position that helps vets, young and old alike, with administrative and financial issues and will fill that function with a part timer. (I understand that one N.C. county with 19,000 vets has a full timer with four assistants.)

I pray that I am wrong. If not, I beg the commissioners to reconsider their closed session decision to do so as the Post described in a piece a few weeks ago.

Eighteen thousand vets and their extended families could easily rally 40,000 votes.

— Ty Cobb, Jr.


The way forward

As I have watched TV, read several papers and listened to comments from friends and neighbors, I have begun to see more clearly what needs to be done about the shutdown in Washington. It is a pity that so many people have had their vacations ruined because of the closing of our national parks. These folks deserve more.

Our elected officials have abandoned the country I was born into almost 72 years ago. Has any member of Congress lost a day’s wages? Have they done without? I doubt it. We could save money, possibly enough that good, hardworking ordinary folks wouldn’t have to lose a dime. Instead of closing some of the things we have had to deal with, turn off all of the cable TV in all of our prisons, remove all of the law books in prison libraries and put them in schools in this country where they would be available to all students. While we are at it, cut off all of the “Obama phones” that are given to “needy families” who have two or three in each home.

While the government is shut down, let’s furlough all of the Senate, Congress and all federal employees and elect a whole new government. We have too many Democrats and Republicans up there now. Let’s replace them with Americans who can remember what the Constitution said before the liberal Supreme Court Justices ripped it apart and said this isn’t what our forefathers really wanted. I believe, and I may be wrong, that the Constitution said that we shall have freedom of religion, and Congress shall make no law to prohibit that. But three people in Rowan county have tried to stop the rest of its citizens from praying in Jesus’ name.

What is wrong?

We can’t get good people to run for public office, and if we do, the rest of us won’t go out and vote! It is time to wake up, and smell the roses or we will be a dictatorship, or worse. Let’s bring America back!

Sometimes going back is the best route.

— Ken Davis


Dreams for Knox

I cannot sit idly by and not be concerned about what is going on with the Rowan-Salisbury School System. It’s inexcusable that in 2013 all students are not given the opportunity to have a quality education. Knox Middle students are caught up in the inescapable arena of politics. How can we be in October and the school is without four teachers? Knox needs a math teacher, a bio-tech teacher, a Title One reading teacher and an EC teacher. I’m talking about a school that is scraping the bottom of the state barrel as far as test scores. Why don’t some of those supposedly qualified people at the central office come teach since we are looking at some of these as being tested areas? Instead of a new central office, maybe we should be looking at a new staff and building new relations.

The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a dreamer. I, too, have a dream. I have a dream for Knox Middle. I have a dream that the central office will make quality education a priority. I have a dream that the HR Department will have the backbone to take a stand up for what is right to ensure all students receive a proper education.

I have a dream that Principal Snider will accept the reality of the struggle and not cave in to the negativity.

I have a dream that one day the classrooms at Knox will be filled with students who are being taught in a safe learning environment by caring and qualified teachers who believe in them and desire to be there. I have a dream that Knox will be transformed into an oasis of technology and live out the true meaning of being a STEM school.

When the central office and EC director make up their minds to rally behind the school and the principal instead of being a tool in its demise, we will speed up that day when all children can one day walk across that stage and become productive citizens. These kids are our future. We would be fools not to invest in our future.

— Eric Perry


Aid cancer research

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of cancer research ... until you hear the words “you have cancer.”

Like many families, mine has been devastated by cancer. I lost my Donald Riek to chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and myleodysplastic syndrome; my sister-in-law Elaine Christofferson to chronic lymphocytic leukemia and my brother Ray to bone cancer. Don was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served the Salisbury-Rowan community for 21 years as a psychotherapist at Family Therapy Institute. Both he and his sister were fortunate to be gifted with stem-cell transplants.

When a loved one has cancer, we often wish we could do more. Through the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study 3, we can. Residents of Rowan County have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to participate in a study which seeks to better understand the factors that cause or prevent cancer.

Individuals 30-65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer and are willing to make a long-term commitment are invited to enroll Oct. 22 and 26.

n Tuesday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Gateway Building, 204 E. Innes Street, Salisbury

n Saturday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m., J.F. Hurley Family YMCA, 828 Jake Alexander Boulevard W., Salisbury

To participate, visit cps3rowan.org or call 1-888-604-5888 to set an enrollment appointment. Participants fill out a survey, give a small blood sample and have their waist measured. Then, every few years a survey will be mailed to participant homes to gather updates on health and lifestyle.

I encourage all eligible men and women in our community to take part in this important study. This research will help ensure future generations of our families never have to hear those dreaded words, “You have cancer,” like my beloved family members did.

— Kathy M. Shelton-Riek


Hinnant for mayor

Since first being elected to Kannapolis City Council in 1997, I have not publicly recommended candidates for office. Today, I change that rule due to the special circumstances coming in November. After the Kannapolis municipal election cycle is completed this year, we will have a total of five years of experience for our entire council (excluding myself).

We have some issues facing our city in which we need to move fairly quickly to reach conclusion on them. We need a mayor with experience that can lead that effort and make the learning curve as short as possible. I like to call the characteristic needed “institutional knowledge”. Having been a part of the “institution” of City Council to know the background of the issues — some of which we have been working on for many years.

There is only one candidate that has that “institutional knowledge” to move us forward, and that is Darrell Hinnant. Darrell has been a member of the council for 12 years and has worked on issues of importance throughout his tenure. I have watched his thoughtful and seasoned approach to issues publicly and privately. He has the knowledge that is needed at this critical time to provide the leadership required.

I endorse and recommend Darrell Hinnant for mayor of Kannapolis and present him to the citizens for your support in our upcoming election.

— Roger Haas


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