Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 24, 2007

Public bought bill of goods
on funding for schools
I read in your paper about how some residents are asking for higher taxes to fund the schools.
Were is all the money from the “North Carolina Education Lottery” going?
The public was sold a bill of goods when we decided to have a lottery in North Carolina. We were told that the lottery would supply hot and cold running money … piped into the classrooms! In the last four years hundreds of new homes have been built in the county, expanding the tax base, and we have the “N.C. Education Lottery.”
Why then is the funding for schools lacking?
ó Chad Kirkman
A dedicated officer
I was absolutely appalled by the June 19 letter from R.E. Peele regarding Lt. James Schmierer as chief of police for East Spencer.
How can he be held responsible for the acts of prior chiefs? Just as in any other job, there is a chain of command that must be followed. The chief is responsible for making decisions on how the department is run, and the other officers must work within the boundaries the chief has set, no matter how unrealistic those boundaries may be. With the lack of proper leadership in recent years, the responsibility for the Police Department has repeatedly fallen on Lieutenant Schmierer, with no recognition or additional compensation for his extra work.
I have worked with Lieutenant Schmierer for the past 21/2 years and have found him to be very professional, determined and dedicated to East Spencer and its residents. It is my opinion that he has gone above and beyond the requirements of his current position to keep the Police Department running properly (between chiefs), while continuing to work on eliminating many problems in the town. I feel that he should be officially made chief of police since he’s already been doing the job of chief for quite some time now.
Lieutenant Schmierer’s dedication to the community and his efforts to suppress drug activity and crime were not addressed in Mr. Peele’s letter. Read the newspaper sometime. Whose name is regularly in the newspaper for drug busts in East Spencer? Who is it that is interviewed by the TV stations? The person that is actually DOING something for the town and the people that reside there ó Lieutenant Schmierer.
Everyone in the community should feel relieved to know that they DO have “one constant” figure that they can depend on to protect and defend their families and their neighborhoods.
ó Jan Ellington
Criticism is baseless
Regarding the letter from R.E Peele :
I have been a part of The East Spencer Police Department for three years and have worked side by side with Lieutenant J.R. Schmierer from day one. I’ve been there for the numerous felony arrests and drug busts he has initiated. I’ve witnessed firsthand Schmierer’s strong leadership skills and integrity. I support and stand behind his efforts 100 percent. He’s a proven commodity and we are lucky to have him.
I’m saddened that Ronnie Peele would choose to attack Lieutenant Schmierer with such baseless accusations.
ó John Mark Reep
East Spencer
Editor’s note: John Reep is a master police officer in East Spencer.
Options to shelter neededThere is a concentration camp in Rowan County, and it is called the animal shelter. Recently, the Salisbury Post, under “Pals with Paws,” offered for adoption a young cat. Two days later, I adopted that sweetheart and took her directly to my vet, where she tested positive for feline HIV and was put to sleep by injection. I could not bring myself to return her to the shelter to be gassed. I have had similar experiences with two previous kittens from the shelter. Over the years, I have visited the shelter, and conditions are so appalling as to defy description.
At the time of my visit, a section of the shelter was being remodeled, with the intent to take in more animals that will be gassed. That is what the shelter does best. All animals were confined to a continuous cement slab, with sections separated by wire fence. The cat I adopted was in an enclosure that held about 15 cats, all of whom have now been exposed to feline HIV.
There have been no funds for the most basic medical/screening services or a spay/neuter program. Yet a $20,000 bequest was used to purchase a computer system! When the powers that be put a greenway across farmland, retained a private investigator to sniff our “Common Sense,” all with our tax dollars, and legislate morality by prohibiting alcohol at the fairgrounds, then you know their priorities are all upside down.
I am pledging $500 to a fund that will not be administered by the county, to benefit the animals directly. Perhaps other friends of animals will join me.
ó Christel Voelske
Too many unwanted animals
This is in regard to Rose Post’s human interest story “Big Mama” that was in the Salisbury Post on June 13.
Yes, it is a human interest story about the dog and a caring gentleman who is taking care of abandoned kittens and cats, but it is a tragedy.
In Rowan County, the pet population is out of control. There are too many unwanted animals and not enough being done to help correct this situation.
Perhaps you could start a fund to help this gentleman pay for spaying and neutering these animals. I would gladly contribute, if enough people were willing to participate.
This would help reduce the number of unwanted animals.
ó Diana Laughlin
Misplaced rage over photo
The Thomasville police officer who made the decision to destroy a bear on account of “the children” instead made them witness to an unnecessary, violent and fatal act and caused them harm. The irony of this should not be lost on anyone and suggests a lack of common sense on the part of the Thomasville Police Department when dealing with a perceived public threat. By deciding immediately to destroy life instead of exploring other avenues of action, the department has effectively not only killed a bear ó for no defendable reason (most of us have read the report) ó but harmed citizens in several counties. Which part of this falls under “to serve and protect”?
Much has been made about the Salisbury Post upsetting children by printing a picture of the dead bear on its front page. This misplaced rage could be put to better use. If anyone really cared about the children they would have ensured that the bear not be killed in the first place.
Secondly, now that the bear is dead, we do our children no favors by protecting them ó which is really not protecting them at all ó from the real consequences of irresponsible, self-serving decisions made by adults in charge of “their protection.”
In other words: grown-ups can and will do terrible things and then say that it was for the good. The sooner kids learn to see through this moral failure the better.
In the end it is proper that the Salisbury Post should print a picture of the destroyed bear on its front page. Reckless endangerment of the public welfare and unnecessary destruction of wildlife needs to be exposed for the cruel and inhumane idiocy it is.
I’m a proud, former resident of Rowan County (currently at Duke University).ó Marc Reibold
Dozens of supporters from Rowan County school system called on commissioners to hike taxes. Do these recruited dozens asking for a tax increase feel the same about gas prices, groceries, and desire paying more for those, too? What’s the incentive for those voicing very out of character positions on tax increases?
Make no mistake ó I support formal education, having family and friends working in our school system. They are very conscientious and work hard in their profession.
I have children enrolled there, too; we’re being subtly taxed through their graduation. A lengthy supply list was sent home for the upcoming year requesting way more supplies than one child needs. The list specifies buying your child’s supplies and then purchasing equal amounts for “shared” classroom use. Recently I paid a $35 parking permit and $15 physical education “fee.” Why not a locker use fee, reserved seating in the cafeteria, grade processing, report card, teacher conference fee? What about the “education lottery?” Wasn’t that the end-all to financial needs administrators were salivating over? Exactly where are those proceeds going?
Once voters become more weary of historic no fiscal discipline, seldom accountability of leaders. I fear more rumblings of teachers unions, which I undeniably dont support! Labor unions typically have a more liberal philosophy than our current board, initial attractiveness, promised pay raises, benefits, with disastrously expensive results. Leaders and voters will lose control of school finances, curriculum, including traditional school activities under union leadership.
Recruiting speakers supporting political positions is questionable enough; wait until we begin funding corruptible unions. Solution: Try building genuine confidence with citizens. Stop wasteful spending and borrowing. Stop disguising fees for what they are, taxes! Stop clever tactics resulting in record tax increases. Lastly never call yourselves conservatives again, especially next election season.
Steve May
China Grove, NC
Our State legislature is grappling with a projected North Carolina “population tsunami” of 4 million additional people between 2000 and 2030 for a total population of 12 million, or a fifty percent increase. That will make our great state of North Carolina the seventh most populated state, ahead of both Michigan and Ohio, up from the current national ranking of 10th. Such a population increase will nearly equal South Carolina’s current population of 4 million.
The impact on infrastructure such as water, sewer, roads and schools could be severe. This incredible need to expand capacity for new population growth ó while simultaneously rebuilding water and sewer lines that in many communities, particularly rural areas, are reaching 100 years of age ó is going to be a tremendous challenge.
We take our environmental stewardship responsibilities extremely seriously, and we must do everything we can to protect our natural resources. However, our rural and more economically challenged communities are already beginning to sink under justifiable, but evermore stringent, environmental mandates coupled with severely decaying infrastructure.
We must give our N.C. Legislature credit for tackling a looming problem before it becomes a statewide crisis. The Partnership for North Carolina’s Future is rightly encouraging our General Assembly to address a range of issues that need immediate investment. However, state leaders must also have the fortitude to put the right financial resources in place.
That’s why I encourage North Carolinians everywhere to call their legislators and ask them to stand up for North Carolina’s future.
ó Brian A. Roth
Editor’s note: Brian Roth is mayor of Plymouth.
A burning question
Why is it that the State Insurance folks can be on-site at a fire scene, but the county commissioner who is assigned to cover Liberty Volunteer Fire Deptment, supposedly, Arnold Chamberlain, can’t find time in his semi-busy schedule to attend to his duties and pay a visit for a day or two after the fact? Is he too busy to drive less than 15 miles when the folks from Raleigh have to drive 125 or so miles?
ó Don Bland