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Letters to the editor – Monday (1-26-09)

Rowan would benefit from hotel tax hikeShould Rowan County adopt an additional 3 percent occupancy tax from tourists and business people who visit here? I would say that we should for several reasons.
If someone visits Rowan for its Civil War history or its transportation history or for an event taking place, chances are the visitor came here after seeing an ad that was paid for by the tourism board. In order to promote Rowan’s rich history, funding must be provided. If any motel owners should see this as a negative, they should ask themselves whether their customers would be staying with them without the work of the tourism board. Why come to Salisbury just to stay in a motel room? When I reserve a room out of town, I never call and ask “how much is the tax on the room?” I only ask “what price is the room?” An additional 3 percent would not keep me from booking a room for an event I wanted to attend.
Economic stability is not the best now, but still people are coming to Rowan for various reasons. In order to keep them coming, Rowan has to provide information across the United States. Ads you read in a magazine about Rowan are not free; most are paid for by the occupancy tax and the hard work of tourism committee members. Let’s keep Rowan’s name out there and approve the additional 3 percent increase. Rowan business owners will benefit because of tourism advertisements.
ó Rodney Cress
Salisbury
All this Bush-bashing is really the Pitts
Please, no more irritating bashing of the Bush presidency by the likes of a gushing Leonard Pitts, with his usual quota of palpable lies, alibis, incompetence and tolerance of incompetence. Lets hear instead of the income tax evader who now runs the IRS, the secretary who pardons criminals, the promise to bring in partial-birth baby killing and the peril we are already facing because of relaxed security.
There is, after all, room on the front page of your newspaper for more than one view, more than one picture, so to speak.
ó A.R. Rigs
Salisbury
The White House needed a clean sweepSo now we have a new broom in the White House. There will be a first quick sweep of every one of these corporate lawyers and lobbyists who have wormed their way into control of our natural resources, such as air and water. This will be a good first step toward dealing with pressing problem on all sides that can be solved only with our best and often painful efforts.
We’ve done it before.
ó Dick Tabor
Salisbury
Coming to defense of the ex-president
I feel the need at the conclusion of President Bush’s term to come to his defense. I am amazed at the hatred people have for this man. I am not a huge fan of George W. Bush but I am aware he has done a lot of good things. Many times when I ask people why they dislike him they can’t give me a reason. On the rare occasion I am told a reason, it’s usually inaccurate.
Many liberals hate him simply because he won the election in 2000. In spite of Al Gore’s repeated attempts to steal the election, Bush still won. The original count, the recount, and then the recount only of the three counties that Democrats controlled all proved that. The New York Times did an independent recount and showed the same result.
Another reason given to hate Bush is “Bush lied to us about Iraq.” This is, of course, a lie. President Bush said that our intelligence data told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Our intelligence did tell us that. And, furthermore, we have found weapons of mass destruction there. Just not the large quantities that some were anticipating.
Another thing I hear is “we went to war over oil”. There is no evidence whatsoever to support these wild claims.
I do believe that much of the Bush presidency can be looked upon as unfulfilled promise but I want to point out what he did accomplish. He appointed two strong Supreme Court justices. This will be very favorable for years to come. The second thing he did was push through tax cuts that pulled our economy out of recession and kept our economy booming until Nancy Pelosi took over as speaker of the House. Third, he kept us safe after 9/11. That alone is a major accomplishment.
ó Darin Wiggins
Mount Ulla
Here’s a memory I’ll always cherishI wish to state the great respect I have for President George W. Bush as he leaves office. I have felt very safe with him in office for the last eight years, and I believe history will be very kind to him.
I was saddened to see our president so poorly treated on his last trip to Iraq (the shoe-throwing incident).
Permit me to relate a very touching televised event that happened at the memorials service for the astronauts who were killed when the shuttle exploded, killing all aboard. The widow of one of the astronauts and their son were sitting on the front row, next to the president. The mother was concentrating on the service and did not notice how hard her son was crying. His nose was running and tears were flowing down his face. He was distraught.
President Bush saw what was happening; he took out his clean white handkerchief and gave it to the grieving youngster as a way to comfort him. I will never forget this incident.
ó Margaret C. Corriher
Mooresville
Why can’t city, county
tax bills be separate?Why have our former county leaders seen fit to put an extra burden upon the annexed citizens of this county?
They have become tax collectors for these towns and cities and have imposed upon all citizens the extra burden and rules that apply to county taxes, such as late fees.
The people who live outside of these limits do not have to bear these extra burdens.
Although I speak only for myself, I believe that many others feel as I do.
Why must they (the county and municipal taxes) be lumped together? Why not be able to pay one or the other without having to pay both at the same time, and without a penalty? It puts a lot of people in a bind to have to pay both at the same time, especially under the conditions that now exist.
ó Paul Anthony
China Grove
Breakfast provides legislative insights
Among the many activities of our local Chamber of Commerce are the educational updates that it provides to our communities. On Thursday, Jan. 22, the chamber hosted a legislative issues breakfast. Several issues were raised by our three elected state officials, Sen. Andrew Brock, Rep. Lorene Coates and Rep. Fred Steen.
During the open question period that followed, several concerns were raised by local constituents. The first issue focused upon the potential savings (at the state level) to be realized by reorganizing the state programs currently funded through Smart Start and More at Four. The Rowan County model currently administers both programs through one entity (Smart Start Rowan), thus realizing the desired administrative savings at our local level.
I would like to compliment our local Smart Start Board leaders over the past years who had the foresight to streamline these activities for the good of the children!
I also desire to express a hearty thank you to the staff and board of our Chamber of Commerce for their sponsorship of this and other events throughout the year that serve to educate the Rowan/Salisbury communities!
ó John Gerstenmier
Salisbury
Gerstenmier is executive director of Smart Start Rowan.

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