As I write this letter, I have in hand the Rowan County Service Officer Activities Reporting Form for years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and through August of 2013. I believe these statistics speak for themselves.
In 2009 Elaine Howle assisted 2,999 veterans (404 were widows/other) requesting service. She also received 4,285 phone contacts. In 2010 she assisted 3,423 veterans (497 widows/other) and received 5,642 phone contacts. In 2011, she assisted 3,969 veterans (839 widows/other) and 6,655 phone contacts. In 2012, she assisted 3,716 veterans (665 widows/other) and 6,426 phone contacts.
So far through August 2013 she has assisted 3,324 veterans (471 widows/other) and 5,045 phone contacts.
These calls are not only from veterans or their widows but from DSS, Social Security, local attorneys and staff, congressmen and assistants, and patient advocates and social workers from the VA Medical Center. VA medical doctors and audiologists send their patients to Howle to file claims.
Now I ask, “How can you cut the Rowan County service officer’s hours to just 19 hours per week and meet the needs of these veterans and their families?” It looks as if the county commissioners are saying, “We don’t care if you do have to wait for months to be seen by a County Veteran Services officer.”
Ms. Howle has earned many Veterans Affairs credentials and is a retired veteran herself.
Would they like for the veterans/widows to go to the neighboring county (Cabarrus) with four personnel in their office? Rowan County has one of biggest veteran populations within district 8, totaling 12,116 veterans as of 2012. Approximately $89 million was spent on veterans in the form of disability, pensions and medical care for year 2012 in Rowan County. Veterans and children of veterans are also helped with educational and scholarship claims through this county office.
— Karen Black
With the current backlog of veteran’s VA claims across the nation still too high, this hardly seems an appropriate time to cut back on the hours of our county Veteran Services officer. If anything, Veteran Services Officer Elaine Howle needs help, not reductions.
Any veteran who has filed a claim with the VA knows well how frustrating and confusing the paperwork and the bureaucratic language can be in this long, drawn-out process. Ms. Howle has served in the military and understands the process. She has helped hundreds, if not thousands, of Rowan County veterans through the VA claims system, including myself. I appreciate her dedication and persistence. She and all Rowan County veterans deserve much better than to be pushed aside as is proposed.
Commissioners, support her and the service she provides. If you do, perhaps we veterans will support you.
— Steve Simpson (lieutenant colonel, USAF Ret.)
Ann McFeatter’s Sept. 28 diatribe against Ted Cruz is laughable. The more invective leftists hurl at Ted Cruz, the more apparent it is that he has struck a nerve and that they fear him.
— Steve Owen
The Sept. 27 letter denouncing Victor Farrah is an example of what one can expect for the least criticism of Israel and its policies. Mr. Farrah only uses the words “Zionist government” and does not vilify Israelis but in fact refers to the desire of both peoples for a two-state solution, something some Israelis clearly do not want. He does not speak of any “conspiracy” nor of “world domination” and largely expresses multiple concerns over U.S. foreign policy.
In view of the lies used to justify making a hell of the lives of people in Iraq, one can easily wonder at the wisdom of U.S. intervention in the Middle East, and, sloganeering aside, can reasonably suspect that such intervention will be motivated by the true driving forces of warmongers: money and power.
As for Israel, “negotiations” and “road map plans” have come and gone, and the clear result along with the ongoing “settlements” (invasion centers) is that the Israelis have no intention to accept a Palestinian state. What exists is a farce of a nation, criss-crossed by Israeli camps and roads and saturated with invaders who live there due to cheap, subsidized housing or are fanatics who believe that ancient history gives them the right to dispossess people who have lived in the region for over a millennium. They are even given to denying (1) the existence of a Palestinian people, although they have certainly done much to create one and (2) the presence of people in the Holy Land, although my 1906 Baedeker and older atlases give the lie to this argument.
The Palestinians are an exploited and oppressed nation much of whose land has been stolen outright. If they were the victims of communists or Islamists, they would be supported by the U.S. As it is, they are ignored, and their supporters/critics of Israel are denounced as “anti-Semites,” although they are also Semitic. In addition to stealing their lands and denying their identity, is their ethnicity/race also to be taken from them? These matters deserve serious concern on the part of Americans, as only then will a lasting cancer in the Mideast be cured and a basis for peace be arrived at.
— Richard Nash Creel
Since the announcement that Kannapolis Mayor Bob Misenheimer will not be seeking re-election, there has been a great deal of interest in the Kannapolis elections. However, there is one candidate who rises to the top as the clear choice to serve as the next mayor, and that is Darrell Hinnant.
Serving as an active member of the Kannapolis City Council for over 12 years, Hinnant has the true experience to make good decisions to effectively foster economic growth for the community. He is attuned to Kannapolis’ history as a mill town and understands how it can maintain its heritage while revitalizing existing assets that will ensure business growth and economic prosperity.
This is demonstrated in his ability to obtain additional funds to support unemployment and retraining programs for citizens who lost their jobs after the Cannon Mills closure — or his support of the expansion of Village Park and construction of new picnic shelters, the train depot, splash pad and amphitheater.
He also led an effort to convert Kannapolis’ all-volunteer fire department to a professionally equipped emergency service department, including the construction of a fifth fire station in the western part of the community to enhance public safety. And, he supports the construction of the new city hall and police station.
Hinnant’s vast experience and deep understanding of the issues involved in our community’s environmental, economic and financial development make him an exceptional choice for mayor. He is balanced and an intellectual businessman, always working on creative solutions that reap positive impacts for our city.
I urge all Kannapolis voters to show their support for Darrell Hinnant as the next mayor of Kannapolis. He is a leader who has longevity in the community and is experienced, knowledgeable and understands the assets our community needs to foster positive economic growth and job creation.
— Randy E. Cauthen