Published 12:00 am Friday, July 6, 2007

Shell-shocked residents
ready for armistice
Emerald Bay and other developments along Panther Creek are ready to surrender to the Special Forces. Can we get foreign aid now?
At least residents on Panther Creek will rest easier, confident that our Special Forces troops are fully prepared to counter any pre-emptive sneak amphibious assault by al-Qaida up Panther Creek. We don’t understand why we would be such a high-value target. Maybe there are secret channel catfish trained to attack Iraqi aircraft carriers as they steam up the Yadkin River?
As a veteran, I know the troops simply followed orders. It was the common sense of the Special Forces operation planners that was clearly “up the creek.” The military certainly can do better than this. We are grateful that this was not a live fire exercise. The Stars and Stripes flying over many of the homes should have been a big clue that this was not Baghdad and Panther Creek is not the Tigris or Euphrates River.
I would be happy to teach the Special Forces troops the techniques of land navigation that I learned as a Boy Scout so they can learn that Panther Creek lies fully within the boundaries of the continental United States and not Iraq. We are just plain folks and good Americans who support and honor our troops. Please, don’t burn us out! The United States needs all of its taxpayers.
ó Richard D. Sorensen
Redistricting lines add
to the ‘at risk’ problem
Regarding Dr. Judy Grissom’s July 1 column in the Post:
I appreciate Dr. Grissom’s description of the attempt to support schools that have a large percentage of high-risk students. Additionally, I believe that all teachers and staff at those schools work diligently to provide a quality education for students. What she neglected to mention is that we do not have to have high poverty schools in Rowan County. That was a conscious choice our school board made when it approved ambiguous lines during the redistricting process ó continuing to pool the majority of high-risk students into a small number of schools. Why didn’t they choose to redistribute our overall student population so that each school more accurately reflects the county average? For those of you who advocate for community schools and believe that school lines are drawn to encompass the surrounding community, you have not looked at our district lines recently.
There is no evidence to suggest that community schools are what our board had in mind when they created the attendance zone for Koontz Elementary. You should ask them what they were thinking when they redistricted last year. I hope you are as disappointed as I was when I found out the underlying motive.
I challenge our administration and school board to look at the literature that discusses how they can have the most influence on academic achievement for at-risk students. It repeatedly confirms that peer achievement in a student’s classroom is the single most influential determinant of a student’s success. A different redistricting plan would have allowed the lower performing students to be exposed to more higher performing students ó a predictor that the board could have directly impacted with no additional funding.
As a taxpayer, ask yourself if the only answer is more money. Challenge them to use each school’s resources efficiently to serve the interests of all Rowan County students equally.
ó Stan Dunham
Judge the candidates on their performance
I must take exception to James Zink’s conclusion in his June 25 letter that “we didn’t have many choices” in the 2004 election. Of course, it is the electorate’s right and responsibility to make our voices heard nationally and locally. The London headline “How Could 57 Million americans Be So Stupid?” couldn’t ring more true than the day after the 2004 election!
Locally, our electorate chose candidates whom we thought understood our needs and had the leadership to serve. Now, Mr. Zink questions their competence. I, however, question the electorate’s willingness to see, hear and reason, then accept responsibility for the poor choices we selected from. The Republican Party’s local and national coups merit both congratulations and our collective scorn, as political blunder has been successfully contorted into real leadership; emotional issues have taken precedent over real issues; and outright lies have taken precedent over truth ó in short, “business as usual.”
Apparently, few voters viewed the presidential debates or listened to the local candidate forums. I would question whether the Bush victory, and local victories, are the product of poor choices based exclusively on party affiliation. Voters should dig deeper into candidates’ credibility, demanding them to focus on real issues of true importance (i.e. nationally: jobs, Iraq, national debt, instead of tangential issues like stem cell research, Darwin’s theory vs. intelligent design; and locally on education and jobs instead of worthless drivel).
While our opinions may differ, we all want the best for our families as well as our county, state and nation. We can no longer sit back and tolerate “business as usual.” Candidates must be judged on performance while in office and not mere rhetoric or party affiliation. Our challenge as voters is to unmask the candidates, to find the hidden truth and then make the best choice.
ó Mitchell Siegel
Rowan County deserves
much better leadership
Bill Ward’s July 1 article in the Salisbury Post was very good except for a few things he referred to regarding John Casey’s June 24 article.
I think Mr. Casey told it like it is. We need to remember the facts.
No. 1: The three commissioners that Ward was talking about being easily influenced by external sources and bending whichever way the political winds blow is not true. I have been in touch with two of the three. They have talked with me and other people about issues. Before there is a vote, these three commissioners want to be in touch with the people they represent.
What about Jim Sides and Tina Hall? These two commissioners take the issues as a personal agenda.
Sides said during the Toyota Racing Development vote that “I” will not pay Toyota to come to Rowan County. “I” is singular, not representative of Rowan County.
Hall, during the Smoke Out controversy, indicated “I” will not tolerate a Smoke Out. Again, this is a singular statement.
The Economic Development Commission was let down by the wind-tunnel project as a result of a county commissioner talking to the Post.
Sometimes, you people remind me of a bunch of kids playing Monopoly. Make it any way except the way the big majority of voters want it done, the right way.
All people of Rowan County deserve much better than we are now getting. For example, the vote on purchasing $1,000 chairs.
I Admire Jon Barber and Chad Mitchell. They are in touch with people all the time. They are open to listening to anything that comes up for a vote.
Finally, the people who ran Smoke Out away from the fairgrounds are the big losers. It was a success, with no problems. Voters are taking notes for the next election. Be careful.
ó Frank Deal
No reason to run off China Grove manager
I thought it comical to see that the out-of-town business owner responsible for many weekends of loud music and drunken brawls on the north end of town is all for the China Grove town manager, Eric Davis, being run off.
Folks, you need to wake up and get involved with your government. Yes it’s real easy to stand around complaining about how corrupt government is. It’s mostly a thankless job, with reasonable people at the local level. Sometimes people with personal agendas get elected because of voter apathy. We have a good small town in very good working order, due mostly to Mr. Davis’ management. You need to let the town board know that they need to leave the personal agenda at home and leave Eric Davis to do his job.
ó Steve Stroud
China Grove
School uniforms: For richer or poorer
I agree with Eric Loftin’s July 5 letter on school uniforms at Shive Elementary. It is absurd to think that anyone could possibly believe that uniforms are cheaper. Are you kidding? Even if Shive’s policy was flexible (I have read it, and it is a pitiful excuse for flexibility), it is going to hurt my bank account.
Khaki pants bearing the beautiful red mud stains found everywhere at Shive Elementary are not going to last as long as good old-fashioned jeans. My son can tear up even the best-made clothes; just think what he’s going to do with the handful of “cheap” uniform tops he’ll be wearing.
Unity? Yeah, right. What about the kids who have friends outside of Shive and who are looked at as “cooler” because they can wear their Spiderman shirts to school. My son is 5; he doesn’t care about the politics that the people at Shive are so concerned about. Maybe there are parents like me who have already bought things for their kids to wear. Now, the parents at Shive have the pleasure of every school picture looking the same, only different colored shirts, year after year. Maybe I would not have such a problem with uniforms if they were placed in high schools where the real distraction from academics takes place. Then maybe we’ll talk. But now, let’s start with the kids who like the cute characters on clothes versus the kids who barely wear any.
Take all the schools in the county and make them “united” ó then maybe these uniforms would make a little more sense.
ó Michelle Heard
Landis tax money sprinkled away
Last week as I drove through a monsoon of rain coming down in the town of Landis. I was sitting at the stop light beside the new fire department and noticed the lawn sprinkler system was running wide open. Theres nothing more embarrassing wasteful, or costly than an irrigation system that runs when it doesnt have to in the rain. And the simplest, most effective way to prevent your sprinklers from coming on during or after precipitation is the add a lawn sprinkler rain sensor to the system. This is a big tax money saver and the cost is minimal. I’m sure this isn’t the only place in Rowan County performing this routine but with the Landis water issues these days they need to step up and fix this issue.
ó Chad Kirkman
China Grove