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Letters to the editor – Monday (5-19-08)

How can colleges know number of illegal students?
It has been widely reported that there are very few illegal aliens in both the N.C. university system and our community colleges. The public is being told that this issue is not very important because so few illegal aliens are in our community colleges.
I find this very interesting because, to my knowledge, our colleges are not designed to determine legal status of applicants and that provision has never been placed into law or procedure. In short, the system does not know how many illegal aliens are in the system, yet they have issued these numbers without challenge from the media.
I would like to officially challenge these numbers released so confidently in press releases by our taxpayer supported state agencies.
The NC Community College has announced they will follow Attorney General Roy Cooper’s recommendation and not accept illegal aliens for admission. That’s great, but we need to know how they plan to screen applicants for legal status from this point forward. If the system released these estimates without the numbers being sound, then the public needs to know that. The public should also know if the system is not currently designed to detect illegal aliens.
We likely have many more illegal aliens in the college system than the few hundred described here.
I would like the N.C. media to report:
1. If these numbers were derived through any valid process and to report if the numbers are suspect.
2. If our universities even have the ability at this time to determine legal status.
3. If we can get some coverage of a retraction of these numbers if they are inaccurate.
4. How will our Universities now determine legal status to adhere to Roy Cooper’s recommendation as promised.
I look forward to an energetic response from the media to my challenge of this information.
ó William Gheen
Raleigh
Gheen is the president of Americans for Legal Immigration-PAC.
A great athlete ó and role model
Regarding the May 8 article on Matt Butler (“Lion King”):
Great article by Ronnie Gallagher. Matt’s success comes as no surprise to me. From his early Rowan Little League days up through his outstanding high school and college careers, Matt to this day continues to be a superb role model for all young folks to emulate. Always the quiet, reserved and non-boastful leader, Matt once again proves that “actions” rather than loud and boisterous words help to pave the way to success. His superb character and determined work ethic both on and off the field, along with his strong Christian faith and instilled family values, have enabled Matt to become the great young man that he is. It’s a pleasure knowing Matt and his family. His continuing rewards and accomplishments are all richly deserved.
Matt, we all wish you much success! Regardless of the future, you have achieved your dream of making it to the “show”: National Football League (NFL) player Matt Butler.
Sincere congrats, Matt ó go Lions!
ó Dave Aycoth
Salisbury
Thanks for support on North upgrades
I was taught that a thank you is always welcomed even if it is a little late. So the North Rowan High School Athletic Department would like to offer many thanks to the Rowan-Salisbury School Board, the Rowan County commissioners and the Robertson Foundation for the grants and funds given to upgrade our facilities here at North.
We were in great need of a new track and tennis courts, not only for our athletes but the community as well. Our gym is getting a makeover this summer. We will have new bleachers, and the floor will be redone. I would also like to say thanks for helping with the fence around the softball field and the scoreboard. I know that our Booster Club had a hand in this as well.
All high schools struggle to just pay the bills when it comes to running an athletic program, so the upkeep of the facilities is sometimes put on the back burner. Kudos to all of you for hearing our cry for help and taking action. To the Rowan-Salisbury Schools maintenance department, thanks for always being there when we called.
ó Ruby Cutshaw
Salisbury
Cutshaw is a softball coach and assistant athletic director at North Rowan High.Democrats’ gains are overstated
Regarding the May 7 editorial “Obama foils pundits again” on the results of the N.C. primary:
You can certainly tell how this paper leans when you read the last two sentences of this article. The paper states that since the Democrats in our area got 16,429 votes to the Republicans 9,7778, that all is well in the Democratic party and competition is good.
Anyone registered as an independent had the option of voting either Democrat or Republican. I wonder just how many Republicans voted on the Democratic side to keep this good competition alive and well. Based on what I have seen in the national news media, they certainly don’t think things are alive and well for the Democrats nationally.
I personally don’t think this country wants the Clintons back in the White House, and Obama just doesn’t have the experience to be president.
ó Robert N. Stone
Salisbury
Anti-tobacco essay wins recognition
Tommie Estes, a 10th-grader at West Rowan High School and member of Youth-In-Action Against Tobacco Council, has been named the NC TRU Teen of the Month for June. The N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund launched a contest back in February for North Carolina youth to submit an essay, poem, artwork or video showing why teens should be tobacco free.
We were excited and so proud when Tommie received the call that he had won the TRU Teen of the Month for the essay he wrote about his mother’s smoking and how he wants her to quit so she can see him graduate, go to college, get married and be there for all the important moments.
Tommie went to the Charlotte studios and was interviewed by News 14. He will appear in a 30-second commerical that will air in June on News 14 and other youth-frequented channels.
We want to encourage all youth to visit www.realityunfiltered.com and pledge to be tobacco free. If you’re a tobacco user and want to quit, North Carolina has a free and confidential “quitline” ó 1-800-Quit Now. The Youth In Action Against Tobacco Council would like to congratulate Tommie Estes for a job well done. All Youth In Action Against Tobacco COuncil’s activities are funded by the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund.
ó Natalie Gray
Salisbury

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