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Letters to the editor – Monday (3-9-09)

What are county’s education priorities?
I am confused. One day we are given the news that Rowan-Salisbury schools face frightening cuts due to pending state budget reductions. According to Dr. Grissom, “That’s lost jobs and unemployment.” In the next breath, we hear the continued push for a new central office for administrators. The projected cost is $7.5 million. I fail to understand the rationale behind this kind of thinking.
Granted, there may be a desire to house all administrators in one location. However, lost jobs and unemployment directly affect our children. Services will be reduced, materials limited and, most important of all, class size will be increased to an unmanageable size.
We, the citizens of Rowan County, trust our elected officials to be good stewards of our money. But given our country’s current economic status, is this the best use of our taxpayers’ money?
Where are our priorities in Rowan County: children first or administrators first?
ó M.G. Wood
Salisbury
Tossing a lifeline to many who need it
I recall that last year Rep. Fred Steen, Rep. Lorene Coates and Sen. Andrew Brock all worked diligently for a bill to exempt from taxation the first $45,000 in appraised value of the primary residence of eligible veterans. Generally, eligible veterans are those who are honorably discharged and are permanently and totally disabled by a service-related disability.
It only makes sense to me that anyone who has served his or her country and paid such a price should be eligible for such an exemption. So I applaud Vice Chairman Jon Barber and the other four Rowan County commissioners for making efforts to market the “homestead exemption” to more disabled veterans ó and to low-income seniors. Increasing the exemption to $65,000 and raising the income threshold for low-income seniors will be a lifeline for many in our community who are unable to tap into additional sources of income during these difficult times. Thank you!
ó Jeff Morris
Spencer
Dishonest businesses are the real issue
Criminal charges should be made against the people at AIG who insured loans for banks, took the money for the insurance which was to cover loan defaults and never put aside money to pay the claims if they arose. This is fraud any way you look at it.
No private citizen could get away with such a scam, and scam it was, indeed. The banks bought insurance from AIG to cover loans in case of default, and Aig never had money to cover the defaults. We are learning of scams and misrepresentation in most of our financial companies, private companies, and many have lost retirement and savings due to fraud. Wall Street and Republicans are blasting President Obama because his policies are bringing these things to light. It causes stocks to go down for one reason: The companies have lied and cheated us.
They are vehemently insisting we are hurting businesses. They need to be hurt. Somebody needs to protect the people. Lobbyists and public-relations people are pulling out the big guns to deflect the blame from the companies to President Obama. Real jail time needs to be served by a lot of people. It may cause drops in stock prices for a while, but this mess needs to be cleaned up. Government oversight and lack of regulations are responsible for a lot of this mess. The publicity and fear concerning “socialism” is there to rouse the public against these needed regulations. We need something.
It is proven how badly we have been lied to and cheated without these people having someone looking over their shoulders. They cannot be trusted to regulate themselves. Let them drown and some honest companies take their place.
ó Janet Dennis
China Grove
Licensed weapons aren’t the problem
The recent editorial “Aiming for trouble” is a good example of why the newspaper industry is in trouble. While the article may have appeared on the opinion page, there was never any indication that the statements and allegations were just someone’s opinion. The unknown L.A. Times editorial writer made several ridiculous anti-gun statements, and the Salisbury Post apparently believed in the writer’s credibility enough to publish the article.
The idea that someone who has gone through the time, training and expense necessary to obtain a concealed-weapon permit would suddenly become a menace to society upon entering a national park is pure fiction. The writer stated that ancient petroglyphs will be shot up because someone shot them before. How could that have happened when loaded guns and shooting were not allowed? If true, it only goes to show the criminal element is already there and already armed. All the more reason to allow permit holders to be armed. This same logic applies to the writer’s allegations of wildlife poaching and endangering other visitors. If this has been happening in a park, it shows us again that criminals don’t obey laws. Any holder of a concealed weapon permit who engages in any dangerous or unlawful activity in a national park (or anywhere else) can kiss their permit goodbye.
The L.A.Times writer stated that national parks are some of the safest places in the country but left out the fact that terrible crimes of violence have happened in our national parks. Especially to elderly and female victims. No mention was made of the California parks being used by armed marijuana cultivators and meth lab operators. The majority of states now have some type of concealed weapon program, and this has saved many lives. Allowing a legally licensed permit holder to be armed in a national park will not result in criminal activity. It just might prevent some.
(I’m a retired law-enforcement officer and concealed-carry instructor.)
ó Steve Canzona
Salisbury
Budget item will hurt small farmers
I am appalled that the federal omnibus spending bill has designated $145 million for implementation of the National Animal Identification System. NAIS is another burden on the small farmer growing sustainably and selling locally while allowing the large global agribusinesses to skate. NAIS is not about food safety; it is about control and forcing the farms that are actually growing high-quality and nutrient-dense food out of business.
We do not seek government subsidies or grants to farm our land in a biological and sustainable manner, nor do we recognize any insane regulations that would require us to register our farm with a premises ID number or embed our animals with any RFID chip or any other manner of identification. We refuse to participate in NAIS at any level.
ó Dean Mullis
Richfield
Survey response: Tax dollars were wasted
The city of Salisbury mailed a notice to city residents the first week of March 2009 stating they would be receiving a survey to fill out and send back. The notice said we would be receiving the survey in a few days. How many thousands of dollars in taxpayers’ money could have been put to better use if this survey notice had been mailed out with the survey? This is only one of the many reasons the city, county and nation are in the financial crisis they are now in.
ó Frank Stiller
Salisbury
Many may not like health-care changesYou wanted change?
Well, change is surely coming if you’re on Medicare/Medicaid, a veteran or military/government retiree. While not to belittle the president’s assertion that he will take better “care” of veterans, one has only to turn to Congressional Budget Office documents to see how that increased health “care” will likely manifest itself. If you fall into any of the above groups, please go online to www.cbo.gov/ doc.cfm?index=9925. It’s a long document devoted just to health-care budget options, but it should help prepare you for that “change” so many voted for. If you are one who wonders how the new administration plans to pay for a $3.7 trillion budget, here’s a little glimpse.
ó James Grizzard
Salisbury

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