Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 17, 2007

Citizens should be
proud of the fair
I have always lived with the philosophy if it aint broke, we should not try to fix it!
This is the first thought that comes to mind when I read about the controversy over the Rowan County Fair.
It appears that some, including County Commission Chairman Arnold Chamberlain, think that the fair is broke and needs to be fixed. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth on this issue.
I have been working with the Fair Association and the Jaycees for 20 years, as extension agent and more recently as director of livestock. We have a truly agricultural county fair that all Rowan County citizens can be proud.
No single county fair in North Carolina can top our fair. Recognized and award winning, our fair is second to none in this state.
The Rowan County Fair Association has always made our rural young people a high priority. More than 200 FFA and 4-H young people show animals each year at the fair, and the fair pays out over $45,000 per year in premiums, mostly going to these young people. The association also gives out thousands of dollars in scholarships to these same young people.
Some apparently question the profits for the fair. As far as I know, this money is returned to the community through the many charities supported by our local Jaycees. How do Rowan County citizens lose here? Without the Fair Association and the Jaycees, there would be no facilities at all at the fairgrounds site. The county has never contributed a single dollar toward any improvements at the site. A dollar a year lease seems to be a bargain to me.
Kevin Fisher
Grass for pets, but
what about people?In reading Patricia Ribelins May 10 letter to the editor, I heartily agree with her viewpoint regarding destruction of Rowans environment and lifestyle.
When is enough going to be enough?
Theres a 127-acre development planned for the U.S. 601, Jake Alexander Boulevard, White Farm Road area. Developers say every tree will be cut to facilitate the 300 houses and the 30-acre shopping center and asphalt parking lot. However, they say plans do include a small green area for pet walking.
Well, whoop-di-do! Out of 127 acres of beautiful fields and stream-enhanced woodlands, therell be .5 acres of grass for pet-walking.
The vast majority of neighbors and adjacent community overwhelmingly objected to the City Councils approval of rezoning to allow this development.
Our objections, voiced with logic, were the following:
1. Already heavy traffic on White Farm Road.
2. Two anemic, underperforming, partially filled shopping centers already exist within 1 mile.
3. The huge investment of taxpayer money spent to revitalize downtown Salisbury will be totally wasted by building another shopping mall 3.5 miles from the downtown square.
4. Destruction of our environment and privacy. The environment belongs to everyone.
5. Devaluation of existing property owners substantial lots and somewhat private residences.
Needless to say, our objections fell on deaf ears. Despite our collective objections, City Council unanimously approved rezoning to allow the development, even though the property sits outside the city.
Destroy our environment! Destroy our privacy! Lets all live like ants in an ant hill.
The Hidden Creek development makes this available already!
We dont accept it. Enough is enough today!
Hayden Simmerson
Officers deserve
fair hearings, too
The House Judiciary Committee has passed HB 980, the Law Enforcement Discipline Act, which will now be heard by the House. The bill provides for a fair and accountable grievance process before imposing disciplinary measures. This same protection is already available to state legislators and affords the right to a hearing to contest allegations before disciplinary action is taken. The General Assembly has recognized state law enforcement officers are entitled to this right to administrative due process with the State Personnel Act, included in chapter 126 of the General Statutes.
Contrary to some administrators claims, this bill does not prevent disciplinary measures against officers; it merely requires the process to be fair and open. Unfair disciplinary practices are one of the reasons law enforcement is experiencing trouble attracting recruits. The response shouldnt be a lowering of standards, which virtually guarantees problem officers and reduced quality of service. The answer is retaining qualified, professional officers. Fair and decent working conditions would be a big step in this direction.
Its sad to think a criminal defendant is guaranteed a trial, frequently funded by the taxpayer, while an officer is subject to whimsical discipline with no recourse outside an expensive court proceeding that few officers can afford.
Contact you state representatives and urge them to support this bill. Contact information is available at; click on House and then Member List. Rowan County residents can contact their representatives directly at 919-733-5881 for Rep. Fred Steen and 919-733-5784 for Rep. Lorene Coates.
Kenneth S. Lane
Christians arent
immune to evil actsSince the tragic events at Virginia Tech, I have read numerous letters to the editor advocating that if the Bible were taught in schools, this tragedy might not have occurred. The writers also stress that being Christian or getting back to perceived Christian roots turning back to the good, ol days is necessary.
Throughout the history of mankind, massacres and killings have taken place. Considering the last 1,000 years, countless human beings have been slaughtered with great relish in the name of Christianity. The main difference between killings in modern times as opposed to ancient times is that technology has given a single person the capacity to kill in numbers that once required large groups or armies. And, perhaps most of all, our ability to know within minutes of killings around the world leads us to believe that more of it is happening now, which is probably not the case.
The claim that being a Christian (or any other religious faith) will make one immune from performing such acts is naive at best. To cite one example, I bet that the vast majority of lynchings across the country in the latter part of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries were carried out by good Christian men, and that many of these lynchings were witnessed by other good Christians.
So what does this say? One conclusion can be that being a Christian does not make a person immune from carrying out violence. The other is that the good ol days were not so good after all.
Parents and people everywhere, love you children and yourselves and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is an idea based in love and articulated in some form by all the great religions of the world, which we ignore most of the time.
Mark Stephenson
Al Sharptons turn to ask forgiveness
In the light of the recent demands by Al lets find something to march against Sharpton and Jesse Jackson that Don Imus and Michael Richards humble themselves before them in contrition for their loose tongues, should not the Reverend Sharpton genu-flect before Pat God speaks to me Robertson and seek forgiveness for his bigotry?
Chuck Hughes