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Letters to the editor – Tuesday (6-24-08)

We can do more to help state’s disabled veterans
Today’s military is made up entirely of volunteers. These brave men and women are certainly to be honored in every way. Since the Iraq War began, 30,000 soldiers have been wounded and more than 4,000 killed. The recent passage of the new GI Bill has certainly helped those who are capable of returning to civilian life and getting a college education paid for by the GI Bill. But what about those too injured to qualify for this? We need to care for them differently.
Recently I was reading what Florida does for the disabled veterans who live there.
This quote is from Florida Law: “Any real estate used and owned as a homestead by a veteran who was honorably discharged with a service-connected permanent and total disability is exempt from taxation, provided the veteran is a permanent resident of the state.”
It also states: “Homestead Exemption (10 percent to 100 percent but not permanent in nature) … Eligible veterans with service-connected disabilities of 10 percent or more shall be entitled to a $5,000 property tax exemption. To qualify for homestead exemption a veteran must be a bonafide resident of the state.” (http://www.florida vets.org/benefits/hmsted.asp)
North Carolina needs this; our veterans and their families need this. In April 2007, I sent this to our local legislators without reply. So I encourage all of you who care about our veterans and the freedom they bring to write each and every legislator so we can bring this to North Carolina. Pass it on to your friends and relatives in other counties so their legislators can get involved. With effort, we can and we should help the brave who protect us.
ó Rodney Cress
Salisbury
Safety on High Rock Lake
I was troubled but not surprised to read about the terrible boat accident that occurred during the fishing tournament on High Rock Lake. Navigating the lake has become more difficult because of reckless boaters. This year, many homeowners on the lake have had problems ó mostly with ski boats.
A few weekends ago, we heard about several troubling situations. There was an incident in a cove where ski boats were passing very close to a dock where swimmers and other boaters were gathered. When someone asked the ski boats to create a wider berth, one boy on the boat threatened to shoot the person who asked. A while later, the two black boats came back to the gathering two more times and (within 12 inches of the dock) tried to intentionally inflict damage to persons and property.
The next day, another couple was almost hit by a ski boat pulling a skier (missed within 2 feet in an enclosed cove). When they came up to the boat to express their concerns, they were addressed with bravado and backtalk. Later, there was a party where multiple boats were pulling children on floats very close to the shoreline along the opposite cove where the party was held. This activity continued long after the one hour after sunset law and came very close to the opposite piers, to the point where the owners thought the children pulled would be injured.
Not only do high speeds pose a safety issue; they also inflict a lot of property damage in coves. And many people who live on the lake are frustrated because of the inappropriate responses they receive when trying to talk about these situations. Everyone has the right to enjoy different activities on the lake. All I ask is that we respect homeowners’ property and each other. I don’t want to see anyone else get hurt on High Rock this summer.
ó Sabrina Knouse
Salisbury
Correction
RTI-International is not slated to be a tenant at the N.C. Research Campus and has closed its office in Cannon Village. An article in Sunday’s Insight section contained outdated information about RTI’s status.

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