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Letters to the editor – Monday (6-15-09)

Yadkin River belongs to public, not to Alcoa
On Nov. 18, 1957, Alcoa signed a 50-year agreement with the Federal Power Commission indicating the Yadkin River Hydroelectric Project could be “recaptured at the end of the license term” and that Alcoa should “not rely on any assured source of power supply after the expiration of its license for the Yadkin Project.” Yet, Alcoa continues to misinform the public by claiming ownership over our public trust watersóthe Yadkin River.
Alcoa has become the bad tenant, refusing to vacate property that does not belong to them while threatening to leave North Carolina with a toxic legacy that, according state reports, includes “significant contamination” at Alcoa’s 47 hazardous waste sites and PCB contamination (linked to Alcoa) in the Badin Lake swimming areas. People are unknowingly eating potentially cancer-causing fish.
Alcoa has enjoyed a monopoly and 90 years of pollution-based prosperity utilizing the Yadkin River. The reservoirs Alcoa built, while enjoyed by many, have created pollution problems every municipality in the river basin will be forced to address. They have internalized profits, while passing off their pollution at great public expense.
The Yadkin River State Trust Legislation has received nearly unanimous support in the N.C. Senate. SB 967 reinvests hydropower profits back into the river for riparian buffer protection, funding for aging sewage treatment plants, stormwater pollution and job creation. The legislation also requires Alcoa to clean up its mess in 10 years. Alcoa should honor its agreement, take responsibility for its actions and stop claiming ownership over our rivers.
“The waters should be conserved and used as to … develop power in the interest of the people … and that monopoly should not be tolerated.” ó President Teddy Roosevelt, Jan. 13,1908.
ó Dean Naujoks
Winston-Salem
Naujoks is the Yadkin riverkeeper.Another viewpoint on God and man
The May 29 letter “Bounties of Heaven” prompted me to comment on the concepts of prayer, trust in God and Ben Franklin’s quote that “God governs in the affairs of men” and Abraham Lincoln’s professed piety.
If God governs in the affairs of men, I won’t vote for him if he runs for office. Incidentally, Franklin, a libertine, was disliked by Christians; by inventing the lightning rod, he was defying the will of God. That’s what they said. Lincoln, while a lawyer, wrote a book promoting atheism. His law partner burned it.
God sent a storm to stop the Germans from destroying the English army. Why didn’t he give the French the ability to stop them instead? Napoleon Bonaparte dealt effectively with them; and with Spain, too, putting the hellish Inquisition out of business, but only temporarily, unfortunately.
Hitler was raised a devout Catholic. He wanted to be a priest, but World War I made him give it up. the Roman Catholic Church never excommunicated him. Alfred-Henri-Marie Cardinal Baudrillart, the auxiliary bishop of Paris, said, “Hitler’s war is a noble undertaking in defense of European culture.” Hitler admired Martin Luther, who wrote that Jews were “ungodly wretches.”
As for “political forces at work to undermine America,” well, apparently non-religionists certainly can’t do worse to America ó or the world ó than anyone else? Don’t believe it? Then send a $5,000 donation to the nearest TV preacher instead of to the Disabled American Veterans.
God always comes first, even if he is not blind, seeing every sparrow.
Author Ann Coulter, a real trouper for Jesus, once said, “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is that he did not go to the New York Times Building.”
Stanislaw J. Lec, the Polish-Jewish poet who escaped from a concentration camp wrote, “Sometimes, the devil tempts me to believe in God.”
ó R. Howard Andrews
Kannapolis
Kudos to column by James Cook
Regarding Chaplain James Cook’s June 13 column “Offer encouragement”:
Please consider offering the Rev. James Cook, chaplain at Rowan Regional Medical Center, a regular column for the Post.
I have not discussed this with him; that’s up to you. I know Reverend Cook from my years as director of Rowan Regional Hospice. He obviously cares about and has knowledge of the issues of ill health that create family crisis for youth and adults. A regular feature offering his perspective on the emotional pain and distress of individuals facing a potentially life-threatening disease could provide support not only to those individuals but to the health-care community, the family care-givers and to our community spiritual leaders who sometimes struggle with meeting those needs while also meeting the needs of their congregations.
The Saturday paper where faith is featured would make a nice spot for a regular article from Reverend Cook.
ó Audrey Belk
Salisbury

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