Published 12:00 am Monday, September 23, 2013

A flawed policy initiative called the Chained CPI is gaining steam in Washington budget talks that would shortchange North Carolinians who receive federal benefits such as Social Security and federal annuities by lowballing their annual cost-of-living (COLAs). Chained CPI supporters have tried to minimize the consequences it will have on seniors, retired federal employees and veterans by calling it a “technical adjustment” or “better measure of inflation.”
When you cut through the rhetoric, the truth is that the Chained CPI is only an adjustment in that it means smaller COLAs each year. It hurts every American — particularly our most vulnerable — in a major way that worsens over time.
How would the switch to the chained CPI hurt an American citizen who receives the average $15,000 annual Social Security benefit? Over 25 years, chained CPI would rob the senior of more than $23,000. Just think of how many coupons that senior would have to clip to make up for the loss of $23,000 over his/her retired years. For many federal annuitants who don’t receive Social Security, the impact is even greater. Over 25 years, the average federal retiree would see a loss of $48,000.
I urge North Carolina’s members of Congress to reject the chained CPI and provide America’s seniors, retired veterans and public servants and individuals with disabilities the income protection they have earned and deserve.
— Racine Douglas


How can city officials and county commissioners get along, when county commissioners can’t even get along among themselves? I think Jim Sides just likes to be the center of attention. He would like to run both the city and the county by himself. I think he is the one who needs to be replaced.
— Wade Crotts


Mr. Webster’s definition of self-righteousness — “convinced of one’s own righteousness, especially in contrast with actions and beliefs of others: narrow-mindedly moralistic …”
I think you are on to something, Mr. Barber.
— Jane Patterson


On Sept. 5 at the Miller Center, something wonderful happened that brought a community (West End) together, thanks to the efforts of many.
The back-to-school event “Schools at Risk” was sponsored by the Covenant Community Connection & Community at Risk, a subcommittee of the Human Relations Council, chaired by Betty Jo Hardy.
This event brought many parents, family members and young adults out for a good time. But this event wouldn’t have been such a success without the support and participation of our police and fire departments, West Rowan students, United Way (Jackie Harris), Sweet Frog, the Livingstone College women’s basketball team under the direction of Coach Angeline Brown, the Crosby Scholars and Daniel Sevigny from the Youth Services Bureau.
A special thanks to Lt. Josh Morse and the Salvation Army for providing food and games.
Presentations on drugs, gangs, bullying and after-school events were very well received.
A special thanks also goes out to the Miller Center staff for providing a great place to hold such a fun yet educational event. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the effort that Alisha Byrd from the city of Salisbury contributed to make this event successful. School supplies were handed out, compliments of the police and Human Resources departments of our city.
Other programs are being planned by the Covenant Community Connection Committee that will greatly benefit our community. Thanks again for all the support.
— John K. Mitchell


John Mitchell is the chairman of the Human Relations Council.