Letters to the editor – Monday (7-28-08)
It’s dumb idea to ‘diss’ Dale ó or guys in the lab
Your newspaper is right that taking down the Dale Earnhardt banners was a “boneheaded” marketing move. But your comment “that guys in white lab coats will never inspire the passions aroused by the ‘Man in Black’ ” (July 26 “Darts and Laurels” is just as dumb.
It is precisely those “guys in white lab coats” ó the engineers of the motorsports industry ó that make it possible for Mr. Earnhardt’s successors to drive their cars really, really fast around in circles, to the delight of racing fans everywhere.
In recent weeks, articles and editorials in the Post have called for Rowan and Cabarrus counties and their citizens to step up to the challenge of the N.C. Research Campus, to “radically increase” our pace of education and change a culture that historically “does not value education.”
You can’t have it both ways. The mills are gone. If we want jobs here, if we want our children to have jobs here, we need to get over the stupid notion that smart is not cool. We need to get passionate ó very passionate ó about white lab coats.
ó Mandy Monath
Satisfying whims of a billionaireI was curious as to whether or not the Cabarrus Convention and Visitors Bureau was funded by tax dollars or by private money, so I went to their Web site. They say they are funded by taxes collected from the room occupancy tax. That means tax dollars were used to put up the signs marking the “Dale Trail,” and at the wishes of a private citizen, David Murdock, tax dollars were used to remove these banners. Is there no end to what the people of this area are willing to pay for to satisfy every whim of this billionaire?
ó Janet Dennis
Farmland loss costs taxpayersIn answer to Mr. Rick Morris’ (July 14) letter attacking farmers for accepting grant funds from the Land Trust for Central North Carolina, he apparently is not informed! He should be praising the Rollanses, Knox Farm and Starnes Farm, as they could have collected a million or more, but instead they chose to accept these meager small funds to preserve the land.
These funds did not raise our Rowan County property taxes but will do actually do the opposite and LOWER our property taxes. Residentially developed land costs the county more money in services than the property taxes paid because of services required such as schools, etc. On the other hand, farmland requires very little services, and the county and state actually make money on farm property taxes even though they’re paid on a lower base. Please feel free to contact me, and I will give you figures from Dr. Mitch Renkow, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at N.C. State University. They did studies comparing revenue to expenditures for residential, commercial and agricultural land use. I also have the figures from the American Farmland Trust Study. In every case, farmland tax revenue exceeded services while residential development services cost more than the taxes paid.
Chatham, Cherokee, Craven, Durham, Stanly, Yancey, Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland counties have all started working to develop and implement farmland protection and preservation programs to stop farmland loss! See the July issue of Agricultural Review. Why are we lagging behind?
I would ask that our commissioners set up a Rowan Farmland Preservation Fund where voluntary donations can be given, and it could be listed on yearly tax statements with our donations earmarked for farmland preservation. Something must be done!
ó Barbara C. Earnhardt
Where’s the hope for inmates now?In response to the recent article about the Salisbury Planning Board rejecting the “House of Hope” facility for former inmates:
I am appalled at the board’s decision to not allow this on South Ellis Street, stating it “could increase crime rates and decrease property values.” What narrow-minded people! As a former long-time resident of Rowan County, I plan to return there upon my release from prison in 18 months. I think the House of Hope would be a grand idea.
Being an alumnus of both state and now federal prison, I know firsthand of the difficulties that face a newly released prisoner. The state gives you $40 after you have served at least two years, and the feds give about $75-$100 upon your release. To those who have no place to go, this money just gives one enough to get back into trouble.
An opportunity to go to a place such as the House of Hope would be a blessing to me. The reason being that, upon my release, I have no place to go, except maybe the streets of Landis. Since my arrest, my sister, father and mother have all been listed in the Post’s obituary column. I would have requested entry into the House of Hope, not only for a place to reside but because I want to become a productive member of the Rowan County community. I cannot do another sentence; I’ve learned life is too precious to waste.
So, once again another obstacle is placed in my way. But I’m determined to become a success. If it takes living on the streets of Landis, because our planning board is so close-minded, then so be it. We have huge prisons in Rowan County but no half-way houses. What’s wrong with this picture?
ó Bruce C. Heggen
Low Security Correctional Institution, Butner
Graveyard theft leaves a voidWe would like to express our disgust at the person or persons who stole the flowers we had placed on our parents’ grave at Chestnut Hill Cemetery on South Main Street. We watered the flowers every other day and fertilized them so they would be as pretty as possible.
This is the second time someone has stolen our flowers.
We don’t want your artificial roses. If we did, we would buy them ourselves. It is very disappointing to drive up to the grave and see that someone has again stolen the flowers you chose for your parents.
From family members Arlene, Marlene, Brenda and Jim.
ó Arlene B. Taylor