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Letters to the editor – Monday (10-19-09)

Alcoa built, owns Yadkin River dams
Jack Rigdon’s Oct. 17 letter provided Post readers an excellent example of the misguided statements being made by the state of North Carolina and the handful of people in Stanly County who are behind the state’s attempt to take over Alcoa’s Yadkin Project.
Alcoa doesn’t lease the Yadkin Project. Alcoa is not a tenant. Before Alcoa built the Yadkin dams, they bought and paid for the land which would be flooded, as well as a significant amount of land along the shoreline. They built, paid for, and have maintained the dams and powerhouses for over 90 years. FERC issues a license ó with a number of conditions ó not a lease. The state’s takeover attempt amounts to just that ó taking over private property, not taking back a lease.
The state has no experience whatsoever in managing a hydroelectric project and is treating Alcoa entirely differently than they treat every other hydro project in the state.
Alcoa is one of the largest landowners in the region, and, correspondingly, annually pays over $1 million in local property taxes.
Alcoa has been a good steward in conserving its own lands and in implementing its shoreline management plan. When FERC asked Duke Energy to do on the Catawba just part of what Alcoa has been doing on the Yadkin for years, Duke balked.
Alcoa provided Stanly county with 1,000-plus jobs for years. When the economy took a downturn and these jobs, along with many others, were lost, Alcoa provided a $250,000 grant to the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center to benefit economic development efforts in Badin. They have been actively seeking a redeveloper for the Badin works. They are a good corporate citizen with a long-standing presence in the community. They are not the villain the state is making them out to be.
ó Ann Brownlee
Salisbury
We can improve on incentives
The Dell situation should awaken citizens to the fact that the incentive game is like a lottery.
Most people lose. The game is played with a four step process.
1. A huge national or international company approaches area politicians with a proposition. “Give me a bribe. I’m for sale”.
2. Politicians take money from taxpaying companies and give it to new companies so that they can compete (unfairly) with locals for employees and resources.
3. The new companies, with zero local ties or loyalty, stay as long as it is best for their bottom line or until an incentive package elsewhere is more attractive.
4. The community is left with a white elephant building and unemployed citizens.
A much better plan:
1. Offer all new start-ups a two year moratorium on all taxes.
2. Give tax credits after the first two years equal to the past year’s increase in employees.
3. Stand aside while new companies start up and companies from everywhere flock to the state where incentives never go away.
North Carolina would be the most attractive state in the union for businesses of all kinds and sizes. Large companies would come to a state that always rewards expansion, small companies would create new jobs and compete on a fair basis while the state tax coffers reap the benefits of an expanding economy.
Simple? Yes.
Possible? Yes.
The politician with a plan like this would be the hero of our state for years to come!
ó Charles E. Baker
Trinity
Taxpayers are drowning in debt
A man gets up early one morning and decides to start digging a big hole. Later, some neighbors come over, sees what he is doing, jumps into the hole and starts digging with him.
Later, one man and asks the others, “How are we going to get out of the hole we are digging?” Everyone looks at each other, and continues digging.
That evening the one man asks again “How are we going to get out of the hole we are digging?” Someone says, “If we continue to dig deeper, maybe we will hit water and the water will rise and we can float out of the hole.”
That sounded like a good idea, so they continued to dig.
Later, to the delight of everyone, they hit water and the hole started filling up.
Unfortunately, the water rose only half way up the depth of the hole and was still too deep to get out, and they all drowned.
This is the philosophy of the federal government with our economy. When the housing market faltered, the banking industry collapsed, and the stock market dropped, the fiscally responsible action would be to cut back on spending. The federal government, however, decided it would get out of debt by creating more debt.
The health-care reform to be voted on soon is estimated to cost close to $800 billion. The next step is to pass the energy bill that would again cost a huge amount of money (and also put a lot of people out of work).
This is not the direction I believe America should go. The Obama administration has been in power for only nine months, yet the policies and direction he is already taking could cost the American taxpayers and several generations of us to pay for the results of these policies.
ó Tim Byrd
Salisbury
If you love pets, protect them
On Oct. 10, there was a letter regarding a pet owner’s distress over having to have his five dogs euthanized due to lack of rabies shots. I find it difficult to sympathize with this pet owner or any pet owner where rabies shots are concerned.
Dr. Joanne Bryla also had a letter to the editor on the same day stating the importance of rabies shots and the health hazard it causes not only to the pet but also to the general public when these shots are not administered to pets. Several veterinarians offer clinics at a cost of $7 per animal.
I also live in Rowan County and own four dogs. Even though my property is fenced for their protection, I never kid myself that something could never happen. My dogs are up to date on all their shots because I love them and want them to be healthy. Maybe if these irresponsible pet owners were required to pay a fine, they would take better care of their animals.
When I read about more cases of rabies in this area with animals being euthanized, I will once again shake my head in amazement at the lack of concern for these helpless creatures.
ó Linda LeClair
Rockwell
Nobel Peace Prize and real life
I’m a local pastor of a small church in Lexington. I’m one of those preachers who people shun because I’m also a divorcee. Much was said and many people got involved that didn’t know what was really going on. We won’t get into that right now.
I really wanted to address two things that are really making me and many Americans sick. There have always been people who dislike a president, and they speak against everything that he does. But when will enough be enough?
The whole nation is suffering with the loss of jobs, the financial crisis, and no health care, we still have people who spend their time complaining about something as small as whether or not the president deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. This is nonsense.
I have just come out of court for the third time because my job went to Mexico and my ex-wife had a contempt of court charge filed on me and my church. As of September the first, I had no health insurance. I know what it is to see injustice and to live a life full of struggles.
Many Americans couldn’t care less about the Nobel Peace Prize. We want our jobs back! We want our financial security and real justice back. We don’t want any more politics, but we want real solutions. I’m tired of the mess, I want my life back.
Don’t those people in Raleigh and Washington know that we don’t work for them, but they work for us?
Before they were elected we saw them in our churches, they knocked on our doors, they called our phones, but now that we try to contact them, they are too busy and too invisible.
Let’s stop the madness, one vote at a time.
ó Dennis M. Clodfelter
Lexington

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