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Letters to the editor – Tuesday (5-26-08)

Yadkin ‘trust’ plan is still a takeover
I don’t care how they dress it up, the state of North Carolina is attempting to take over a legitimate business: Alcoa’s property (land purchased before it was flooded by the impoundments, dams and powerhouses) and Alcoa’s means of making a living (the FERC license).
Alcoa conducted a multi-year relicensing process involving 40 stakeholders (governmental and local non-governmental groups). They held rounds of public meetings throughout the five-county area, conducted studies, met in issue advisory groups and worked through a negotiation process to reach the Relicensing Settlement Agreement signed by 23 parties.
In contrast, the state of North Carolina has not held one public meeting, and has made no attempt to communicate with the stakeholders involved in the relicensing process. Their administration of the project would be done by a bureaucratic state agency, the kind of agency that hasn’t always had the best record of being open, responsive and accountable. The property would be held by a “trust,” but the Highway Trust Fund has been raided, as has the education lottery reserve fund. Much of the impetus for the state takeover is coming from outside the project area.
And Yadkin Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks speaks with forked tongue in saying “the state’s (DWQ) report acknowledges … some of the PCBs found (in Badin Lake) are directly linked to Alcoa.” The hearing officer’s report, in fact, stated: “It is not possible to establish a link between Alcoa operations and the PCBs in fish tissue … it appears that the presence of PCBs in the fish tissue is a watershed-based issue.”
The Yadkin River indeed needs a “voice,” but that voice must come from the local area, not from Raleigh. It must be a voice of truth, not of ambition, greed and political agendas.
ó Ann Brownlee
Salisbury
Hearts and homes
May is National Foster Care Month, a time to come together on behalf of the nearly 500,000 American children living in foster care because their own families are in crisis. More than 10,000 of these children live in North Carolina.
Through our work with these amazing children and teens, we know how resilient they can be. Children have an extraordinary capacity to overcome many challenges ó but only if they have the support of caring adults.
Foster parents play a key role in these children’s lives. They willingly open their hearts and homes while providing safety, love and support for children with a variety of needs. They advocate for the children’s health and well-being as a permanent plan is made for the child ó to either return to their birth families or begin the search for an adoptive family. They become the child’s ally and touch their lives in many ways.
During National Foster Care Month, we take time to honor the dedicated foster families, volunteers and child welfare professionals who are serving children. The foster care “system” is only as good as the people who choose to be a part of it. With the help of more North Carolinians, the lives of these children will change for the better.
You have the power to do something positive that will change the life of a child in foster care. Call 1-800-632-1400 to find out how you can make a difference today.
ó Ken Tutterow and Sandy Cook
Greensboro
Tutterow is CEO/president of Children’s Home Society of North Carolina and Cook is executive vice president.

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