Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Council leads way on gang solutions
The Scripture declares “To give honor unto whom honor is due.”
As a local pastor for the past 20 years, I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of our city officials than I have been in the past 30 days.
Mayor Susan Kluttz, along with the rest of our City Council, has shown exceptional leadership concerning Rowan County’s issue with gangs. At the gang summit on June 14, the City Council unselfishly stepped up for the entire county.
Then, on Monday, July 1, to see our mayor along with the rest of the City Council surrounded by the mayors of Charlotte, Winston Salem, Concord, Gastonia, etc.; once again, leading the way.
I once read: If a person thinks he is a leader and has no one following, he is only taking a walk. Salisbury is blessed to have our own “Dream Team,” also known as the City Council; and there seem to be many following.
Great job!
ó Bill Godair
Bill Godair is the pastor of Cornerstone Church.
School resources
This is the time of year when those of us who home school wonder what is going on with the public school system. Consider all the wasted money and lackluster end-of-year test scores.
Most of us spend less than $1,500 per student. Yet if the national averages prove true to Rowan County, we will perform 15 to 20 percent better than the public school system.
The realization comes to mind that parental involvement plays a large role in the home and private school results. But I am convinced that a large part of the public school issue is in resource allocation.
It’s time to dismantle the excess bureaucracy. And although exercise is essential, our school system does not need the millions of dollars that we have spent on large athletic facilities.
We should spend part of our newly freed resources on more teachers, thereby creating smaller class sizes. We should spend the balance on curriculum and teaching supplies in core areas.
When each class is adequately supplied and staffed with teachers, we need to hold those teachers accountable to improve the average test score of each class by at least a grade level for each year they teach. Repeated failure to do so should result in termination.
The good home schools and private schools of Rowan show what works: small class size and well chosen curriculum, combined with excellent asset allocation.
Come study the way good systems work. It’s not rocket science ó well, at least not until you get to senior level chemistry and physics!
ó Matthew Haney
Religion and rights
Regarding the July 3 letter about the motto “In God We Trust”:
The Founding Fathers did not fight for religious freedom or any other right. (Actually, many of them did no fighting ó just like Bush.) Americans already had freedoms that were unknown in most other countries, such as Russia under the czars. The American revolution was not about freedom but independence.
No American has a right to put up any religious or other permanent message promoting a hardline doctrine on a building neither he nor his religious, political or business organization has paid for with their own private funds. It is like saying, “We are the ruling caste; obey us!”
I once attended a meeting of the county commission. Some 50 people showed up in support of the measure to install the motto on the County Administrative Offices Building, which, of course, the commission voted upon, as they had already decided to do, long before. Formalities, you know.
Suppose another 50 had shown up, all Muslims, demanding that “There is no god but Allah” be put beside it?
Ridiculous? What about 25-50 years from now? Do you realize that Germany and France are eventually going to cease to exist? Why so? Because millions of Muslims have immigrated to those countries. Eventually, half their populations are going to be Muslim, with many pushing for an Islamic fundamentalist state. Most of the current population of those countries are atheists and will, of course, refuse, which likely will result in terrorist attacks by the dozens.
Millions of atheists will then come to the United States, becoming citizens and subsequently holding office. So enjoy the show while it lasts. I suppose that if you had told a New Yorker in 1789 that someday, most of the population of New York City would be Catholic, he or she would likely have been incredulous.
ó R. Howard Andrews