Letters to the editor – Friday (3-13-09)

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 12, 2009

League stretches truth on annexation
There was a time when I believed articles written by the N.C. League of Municipalities. Their newspaper articles extol the wonders of forced annexation. They claim North Carolina has model annexation laws that other states envy. They claim communities adjacent to cities are urban and should pay city taxes. If our annexation statutes were models, why aren’t other states adopting them? Chalk up a league exaggeration. Most areas being annexed aren’t urban, but are suburban by any objective definition. Chalk up another league exaggeration. Considering Powell funds, grants and sales tax revenue that cities get from all residents, we don’t owe them anything. Chalk up another league exaggeration.
The league credits the good bond ratings of N.C. cities to forced annexation, but Dr. Lawrence’s remarks to the legislative annexation committee gave our Local Government Commission much of the credit. Chalk up another league exaggeration.
The league claims that nearby residents demand urban level services that can only be provided by cities. Most other forcibly annexed areas in our state weren’t demanding services. Just another league exaggeration.
The league is losing credibility on forced annexation issues. It makes money on every annexation. That’s why it favors the current law with no vote. On important issues, voting should be allowed. Forced annexation rises to this level as it will cost those affected thousands of dollars. The league opposes voting.
The league should realize that just because forced annexation is legal, that doesn’t mean it is right. It’s legal for 16-year-olds to drop out of school. Is it right? Slavery was once legal. Was it right?
Cities should treat their neighbors with respect and live by the golden rule. If something is legal, but it hurts your neighbor, is it right? The league should consider this.
ó Larry Wright
Unsolved murders
After reading about the unsolved murder of Jason Heggins in Sunday’s newspaper, my mind went back to another one that happened back in the ’80s. It was the case of Reesa Dawn Trexler. With all the forensics available today, I wonder if there’s a chance that this murder will ever be solved. And to the family of Miss Trexler, I would like to say that there are some of us out here who still remember your loss.
ó Barbara Pope
Editor’s note:Reesa Dawn Trexler, 15, was found stabbed to death on June 15, 1984. As the writer indicates, it remains among the unsolved homicides in Rowan County.
Our animal friends
Thanks to Chris Verner for his March 8 column “Way of death won’t change numbers.” To change the numbers (of animals that we put to death each year), it will take numbers (of people working hard and collectively).
On Wednesday, March 18, at 5:30 p.m., in the Hurley Room at the main library (201 W. Fisher St.) there will be a meeting to discuss how to best approach the animal issues that concern us. The agenda will include organizing, goal setting, and sharing idea sharing. Write down your suggestions and bring them. RSVP by calling 704-213-2011.
New ideas and bills are being introduced by the Humane Society of North Carolina and other organizations this year that include spay/neuter programs, puppy mills and dog-chaining legislation, etc. We are not alone in our pursuit of the humane treatment of animals. These groups are there to help. If we work in concert with them, great things can be accomplished.
We can maintain the status quo by sitting at home in quiet desperation, or we can promote positive change by organizing, researching, presenting information and, most of all, donating time and energy. See you March 18!
ó Beth Bowman
McQueen’s death
Thank you for your excellent editorial on the dangers of cigarette smoking (March 6). There was, however, one error in the editorial. You list Steve McQueen as one of the celebrities who died as a result of smoking-related cancer. Steve McQueen died of mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lungs that is caused solely by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is totally unrelated to cigarette smoking.
ó Richard L. Huffman