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Letters to the editor – Friday (6-19-09)

Risdon: Sorry about workers’ lost wages
When Color-Tex closed, I was the person that convinced the ownership to pay the insurance premiums that were overdue.
The bankruptcy was in Boston, because that’s where Fleet Bank filed it. I did not participate in the bankruptcy ó the whole thing was run by Fleet Bank and their lawyers. They took all the money in all the accounts, including the payroll and 401(k) accounts.
High Rock (then North Carolina Warehouse) agreed to pay the workers when NCW bought the land. The agreement was to pay them when the property sold, or sooner, if possible.
This was an agreement we voluntarily entered into. We did pay the $80,000 in 401(k) amounts, but did not have the funds to repay the wages.
We spent a tremendous amount of money and time fighting Ann Brownlee. The time we spent was probably the biggest cost. We were never properly capitalized from the beginning and we were forced to do everything on the cheap. That continually got us into trouble.
We had a good financing package lined up last year, but when the economy melted down, that went away.
I thought if we got the development agreement put together, we would get financed. That didn’t happen.
I am truly sorry for dragging this on as long as I did. I should have thrown in the towel sooner.
I wanted the track to be successful and repay the wages to the workers, and I am sorry that I could not get that accomplished.
ó Dave Risdon
Huntrsville
ABC Board reprieve?
Case closed? No way. The past four years have shown a deplorably low level of profitability, with no explanation from the ABC Board.
Mr. Osborne and the board tell us they are working on improving profitability, in the face of reduced sales. All well and good, but the year-end results, as of June 30, will be the first test of their success. Profits need to be up significantly from the 2.47 percent of 2008.
We should also see a clear plan to raise profitability to the 8-9 percent of sales level by the end of next fiscal year. That would be comparable to systems of our size.
Along with an increase in profitability, the public and the Board of Commissioners deserve an explanation of the distribution policy, and a change to something closer to 75 percent, from 11.38 percent of income available for distribution.
Absent that, perhaps the Board of Commissioners should revisit Commissioner Tina Hall’s motion of Monday evening.
ó John P. Burke
Salisbury
Riverkeeper wrong
Mr. Riverkeeper, who will be next on your list? Will you come after Progress Energy and Duke Power after the state confiscates Alcoa’s land? They also own dams that back up water over land that they own.
It might be debatable as to who “owns” water or even rivers, but Alcoa legally purchased, and now owns the land that it holds title to. Maybe the state should require everyone who owns a dam, even as small as a farm pond dam, to tear it down and return “our” water to its natural state.
Comrade Riverkeeper, you speak of monopoly, repeatedly quoting Theodore Roosevelt who stated that we should not tolerate any monopoly. Just what is the state? Government is the only true monopoly. You also might wish to consider a more colorful character to draw your quotes from. Quoting Karl Marx would be much more in vogue than repeatedly quoting the buffoon Teddy Roosevelt. Whether they realize it or not, most Americans wholeheartedly agree with Marx, so you would be a much more popular Riverkeeper.
ó Steve Poteat
Salisbury
A good person
I was very happy to see the article regarding Brian Morrow’s weight loss and change in lifestyle.
I’ve known Brian since he was a little boy. Well, he was never a “little” boy but a young kid nonetheless. He was one of those kids you could not help but like and was always eager to give of his time.
My first wife struggled for years, finally passing from complications of MS. As a teenager, Brian was always there to offer support, engage in conversation or to run an errand when she was housebound.
She loved him like a son and would be so pleased to see his transformation.
One thing is for sure, no matter how much weight this young man loses, his heart will always remain as large as ever.
ó Dave Morris
Rockwell

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