Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 12, 2013

Coaches deserve praise, encouragement
We have a lot of heroes to be thankful for: the military, police, sheriff’s deputies, firemen, school teachers, doctors, nurses, dentists, scout leaders, priests, ministers and charity volunteers.
There’s one group of outstanding people, however, whom we tend to forget, take for granted or sometimes ignore. Almost every day you see them. They are our volunteer coaches who give of their time, expense and some personal freedom to coach and teach our young all kinds of sports.
Baseball, softball, football, soccer and basketball. You’ll find them on the fields at city parks, inside city buildings or in the First Baptist Church’s old YMCA building during Upward basketball season. In the cold or blistering heat they’ll be out there teaching our youth the principles of teamwork, good sportsmanship, proper manners and respect for leadership.
The coaches individually take time to teach each child how to catch a ball, hit it with a bat, pitch a ball, kick a ball, dribble, whatever it takes to improve each child’s sports and motor skills. Unselfishly, they do this without expecting any reward other than seeing the results of their work in having created a better more highly skilled and knowledgeable child at the end of the season.
Sometimes during the season, the coaches even may have to bear occasional verbal or physical abuse from unruly parents who thought they could do a better coaching job. If and when it does occur, they always handle it with dignity and respect. For sure, these coaches, and their assistants, deserve our praise and thanks. When you see you child’s coach, thank him, shake their hand or give them a hug. They’ve earned it!
— Don Schumacher


Tell citizens the truth
We will have to wait for the full damage of Obamacare, but it has already cost twice as much as the president claimed it would. It has increased our insurance premiums, cut Medicare benefits, added 16,000 new IRS agents, countless bureaucrats and less care for the insured.
The taxpayer has lost $528 million to Solyndra and more to other tax-funded disasters and $37 billion on bailouts.
We have over 46 million people on food stamps, more added to the disability rolls than at any other time in history (despite your claim of increased scrutiny) and an ever-increasing population of welfare dependants.
When Obama was on the Letterman show, he didn’t know what the debt was — $16 trillion and growing, Mr. President. Your answer was to raise taxes “on the rich,” but we all suffered your tax increase. And yes, the sequester was your idea.
In he Fast and Furious scandal, hundreds of Mexican citizens and one border patrol agent were murdered using guns supplied by the Obama administration to drug cartels. Obama used his executive privilege to block the investigation, deny requested documents to the Congress and save Eric Holder (and himself) from accountability.
Now Obama is blocking the Benghazi investigation by refusing to provide clearances for the lawyers representing the whistle blowers, the same whistle blowers who were threatened, demoted and prevented from testifying by his administration. What has already been proven is that he and Hillary Clinton lied to the American people. Benghazi resulted in four brave Americans being slaughtered, and the government investigation has proven that Obama and Hillary knew from the beginning it was a terrorist attack — and yet blamed a video.
All of us deserve the truth, Mr. President, whether we are Republicans, Democrats or anything else. If most people agree with Chris Matthews (MSNBC) and Hillary Clinton that “it doesn’t matter,” then we truly are living in the condemned age.
— Keith Bost


Take care of best friend
The decision to own a pet should not be taken lightly. It takes time, money and love. Pets require nutritional pet food to keep them healthy and from becoming obese. The expense of pet food can be demanding on a family.
Also, one should be responsible enough to provide for shots and have their pet altered. Spaying or neutering prevents unwanted litters.
And, one must take time and patience to train the animal. Proper training will keep your pet and others safe. This can be easy or very difficult depending on the animal’s personality and the breed.
Exercise is important to a pet’s health and temperament, also. One has to be willing to take time for daily walks and play. Pet ownership can be a challenge. But, the love and companionship you get in return is well worth it.
Another thing to take into consideration is that your pet will age. Then you’ll have to cope with costly medical issues. Eventually, you will have to face the tough decision off euthanizing your best friend to prevent their suffering. Difficult as this decision is to make, all the years you had with your companion will leave you with memories and the desire to love again.
Last week, I had to make that terrible choice to euthanize my dog. Even though I knew it was for the best, it doesn’t make it any easier. We had 11 years together, and the loyalty I received was worth the monetary and emotional investment. I would like to add a word of “Thanks” to Dr. Tim Steinman and The Animal Care Center of Salisbury for their compassion during this difficult time.
I am not trying to discourage anyone from owning a pet. I just want people to stop and think before they bring an animal home. There are enough pets in shelters because people refuse to be responsible. And, once you decide to become a pet owner, check with those local animal shelters and rescue groups. Many beautiful, loving animals are waiting for a home.
— Tammy L. Walser


Recreation numbers
Let me get this straight. You have, let’s say, one participant at $5 in a five-day program. Do you count the revenue as $5 or $40?
It took all these years to figure this out. This should have stuck out like a sore thumb. Who is running our city government? OK, for now we fired these two people, but who is doing the accounting for Parks and Rec? We as taxpayers pay big, inflated salaries to these folks and yet they cannot run this city the way it needs to be run.
Yes, I think we need to pray, all right; we need to pray that we can get some city employees that can add and subtract. Oh, wait; our commissioners decided not to increase the school budget, so there goes the next generation of leaders who cannot add.
— Neil Nurisso


Second Amendment
The Second Amendment of the Constitution is as follows: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a Free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
In regard to its interpretation, the most basic fact is that the right of gun ownership was given by the Framers within the context of the security of the nation. This fact cannot be ignored.
But what exactly does it mean? Does it mean that every gun owner is obligated to join the military in defending the country should its security be threatened? And what constitutes the security of the country? Since a nation consists of citizens as well as its institutions, does it mean that the security of individual citizens is integral to the security of the nation? If so, what steps could be taken to protect individuals from harm? Is the widespread possession of guns a factor in the harm a nation’s people experience? If so, should limits on gun ownership be placed?
These are just a few of the questions which need to be raised regarding the meaning of this highly controversial amendment.
The NRA and the Republican–controlled Supreme Court would have us ignore these questions and the inherent complexity of the Second Amendment.
— Stephanie Derr


Stand up for us
Thank you to the attorneys for standing up for what is right for Rowan County. In response to the prayer lawsuit, I believe it is past time for the people that represent the American people to stand up for us. My hat is off to the attorneys. Thank you.
— Harry M. Stokes