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Darts and laurels: Hall right at home in the GOP

Laurels to truth in labeling. Rowan County Commissioner Tina Hall comes from a big-D Democratic background, but Friday she announced she was changing her party affiliation to Republican. It’s about time. She’s been voting like a conservative Republican ever since she took the oath of office ó skeptical of any school proposal, for example, and against a tax break incentive for Duke Energy’s expansion. Politically, she was an unknown quantity when she first ran for office in 2006. People recognized her as a former principal and advocate for the schools; she seemed to fit the Democratic profile. Or maybe Democrats saw what they wanted to see. But they haven’t heard much they like from Hall over the past three years. She should feel right at home in her new party, and running under the GOP banner gives her a better shot at re-election next year. Now that she’s demonstrated her true “just say no” conservative bent, she’d never survive another Democratic primary.
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Dart to the horrible events of Thursday at Fort Hood. U.S. soldiers were attacked on their home soil by one of their supposed comrades. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who killed 13 and injured many more, has been described as “a study in contradictions: a polite man who stewed with discontent, a counselor who needed to be counseled himself, a professional healer now suspected of cutting down the fellow soldiers he was sworn to help.” The fact that he was Muslim will cause a backlash for other Muslims in the Armed Services. One of the heroes who emerged from the tragedy, the female police officer who first shot Hasan, has North Carolina roots. Sgt. Kimberly Munley grew up in the Carolina Beach and Wilmington area, and once worked for Wrightsville Beach Police. She is one strong woman, inside and out.- – –
Laurels to this weekend’s sales tax holiday, even though it applies to a fairly narrow category of purchases: appliances that have Energy Star designation. You can thank the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy for Energy Star. The label goes on energy efficient products, all part of the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You can find a list of products that qualify for Energy Star at www.energystar.gov. But if you step into any major appliance store this weekend, the sales staff will be happy to point you toward the right products.
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Dart to the cloak of secrecy that surrounds the resignations and dismissals of school personnel, especially principals. Principals at Erwin Middle and Hanford Dole Elementary schools resigned this week from the Rowan-Salisbury School System, citing the ever-vague “personal reasons.” The Knox Middle School principal was similarly mysterious about his departure earlier this year. Though some information about government employees is public record ó date of hiring and salary, for example ó much of their employment record remains confidential. Everyone has the right to some privacy, but such public figures leave a lot of questions behind. In the absence of facts, rumors flourish.

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