Letters to the editor - Monday (10-14-2013)
‘Pinhead’ decisionmakers do veterans a disservice
It’s easier for a Boeing 747 to go through the eye of a needle than it is for our veterans to get the benefits they’ve earned. In far too many cases it takes as long as two years to get what these honorable vets deserve. No one in Washington, D.C., seems willing to do anything about the backlog. But they give the VA top brass millions in bonuses.
Recently the pinheads in Washington, including the president and his staff, the Department of Defense and others in Congress went so far as to prevent our vets from visiting WWII memorials and denied the families travel, death benefits and burial expenses of those 12 heroes recently killed in action. While the later has apparently been solved, it never should have happened in the first place. It happened, say the Washington pinheads, because of the government shutdown, which they blame on Republicans.
All this could have been avoided, but it’s clear the liberal administration didn’t want to stop it. “Make this shutdown as painful as possible,” they say. Add all this to the lack of care our government provides to our wounded warriors. If this wasn’t true we wouldn’t have three wonderful charities: the Wounded Warrior Project, the Fisher House and the Independence Fund which provides track chairs to vets who cannot walk.
Our vets’ treatment is an absolute travesty. Even our county commissioners are acting like pinheads for reducing our veteran services officer to part time. I have to take my hat off in honor of all our vets who were willing to give, or did give, their lives for us and the pinheads who couldn’t care less. And to those currently serving in the military, you are truly heroes and you deserve leaders who will keep you safe and provide all your and your family needs now and in the future. We don’t need pinheads making your life miserable. God bless and thanks to all of you.
— Donald Schumacher
The county commission’s decision on the veteran services officer was political double-speak.
1. You say you’re for job creation, yet here’s a job you downsized to part time.
a. No more benefits, hence you’re “saving” money. I think not!
b. Part-time jobs are actually factored into the “real” unemployment (U-6) rate, which includes persons not looking or other marginally attached workers. Nationally, it’s about 14-plus percent. I hate to think where Rowan fits in that statistic, Mr. Chairman. On that basis you’ve increased Rowan’s unemployment!
c. With three part timers, won’t that mean three times the required annual training? Isn’t that equivalent to six-plus part-time weeks? If no training is required, see 2.c.!
2. You say this decision will increase hours of service from 40 to 57 per week.
a. Maybe, but you’ve sacrificed continuity of service. Can you imagine three individuals trying to shepherd a single veteran’s case through the VA’s bureaucratic morass?
b. How about veterans having to rehash their case each time they come to the office because it’s a different VSO?
c. How about quality of service, e.g. if there’s no training (see 1.c.)?
d. If they are trained, then they aren’t available for six-plus person-weeks (see 1.c. above).
3. You say recent audits of the department were satisfactory but found it generally understaffed. Evidence was presented that other counties with similar veteran populations had two or three full time VSOs and/or three to four assistants.
a. Yet you dismissed Commissioner Barber’s recommendation to hire a second full-time VSO and possibly a part- or full-time assistant.
b. You reduced the current VSO to part time for no apparent reason.
4. You say these services are available at the Salisbury VAMC.
a. That couldn’t be more wrong. The VAMC provides medical care and services, not benefits, disability and compensation. These are provided by the Veterans Benefits Administration.
b. The nearest VBA office I’m aware of is in Winston-Salem.
— Dwayne Dvoracek (U.S. Army, Ret.)
A stench in the Rose Garden
President Obama’s Oct. 1 propaganda-fest in the Rose Garden was filled with so many lies even the roses couldn’t cover the stench.
Obama claimed the Affordable Care Act would be more affordable. As Fox News reported on Sept. 30, Blue Cross/Blue Shield said premiums would increase for two-thirds of their policyholders, with some doubling.
Jobs are coming back, Obama claimed. NBC reported on Sept. 6 that of the 848,000 new jobs created so far this year, 63 percent were part time.
Things are getting better, Obama said. NBC spoke with 20 businesses that reported they were cutting employees’ hour so they would not have to provide insurance for them.
UPS ended health insurance for some spouses, citing increased costs from Obamacare as the main reason.
Even the AFL-CIO, one of Obama’s strongest supporters, has demanded changes to Obamacare, claiming it will drive up the costs of union-sponsored health plans to the point members and employers will abandon them entirely.
Things are much better, Obama claimed. Yet one in seven Americans receives food stamps. On Sept. 12, CBS reported that 24 Philadelphia schools closed, with 4,000 staff laid off. Detroit is bankrupt and $18 billion in debt.
The stock market is up, the president says. Yes, but only because the Fed has poured $85 billion a month into the economy.
Perhaps the computer problems with the federally run health-insurance exchanges are due to all the people priced out of their own individual policies who are now seeking cheaper ones.
Obama blames the Republicans in the House. But to quote Brian Williams, on NBC Sept. 30: The House keeps passing bills but the Senate keeps rejecting them.
— W.F. Owens
Hinnant for mayor
During the last election, I was elected to serve my hometown by the largest number of votes cast. For that I’m thankful and humbled by the continued support I have received for the past two years. Many of my supporters encouraged me to run for mayor during the upcoming election. When I ran for council, I promised to serve a complete term on council before thinking about running for mayor. To be an effective mayor, it takes a tremendous amount of time and experience to lead the community and be an aggressive force in going after economic development. When I was in college, I served as an intern, working inside the city offices, learning the functions of each department, helping prepare information for budgets and assisting with the Kannapolis history book. This experience, along with serving on the Board of Adjustment, has given me great insight and knowledge of how the community works and operates. My experience is quite unique for someone my age.
Being mayor is more than ribbon cuttings and council meetings. It’s about a strategy for economic development. It’s about public safety and public works. It’s about $55 million worth of capital projects to be completed in the next 10 years. It’s about developing clear, concrete goals for our community, such as aggressively recruiting industry and jobs. I believe Kannapolis is at a critical time in its history and this election has the potential to define our future for this generation and the next generation.
I believe there is one mayoral candidate who has the community and business experience to lead our community immediately and that is Darrell Hinnant. I have evaluated all three candidates very carefully. As a result, I strongly endorse Darrell Hinnant for mayor of Kannapolis.
— Ryan G. Dayvault
Kincaid for mayor
As a longtime concerned Citizen of Kannapolis, I have observed our City Council over the years and have seen positive changes. With the retirement of Mayor Misenheimer and Councilman McCombs, it is important that we make the right choices to replace them to continue growing as a community. Tom Kincaid, currently serving Kannapolis as a councilman, is my choice for mayor. His business experience and time on council gives him an advantage to lead our city. Tom is friendly and outgoing, has a positive attitude and will make a great leader and salesman to help Kannapolis continue on a path of positive development and growth by attracting businesses and jobs. I hope you will join me in voting for Tom Kincaid as our next mayor of Kannapolis.
— Grant Rader
Friends yard sale a success
The yard sale held at VFW Post 3006 on Oct. 5 to benefit Faithful Friends was a big success. Thanks to all who supported this event. Special thanks go out to Renae Kluttz for a great job as event chairperson, Commander Larry Edwards, Jim Whaling, College BBQ and Richard’s BBQ. Together we are making Rowan County a better place for unwanted and abused dogs and cats.
— Jack Cornatzer