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The food stamp cuts that kicked in Nov. 1 were deplorable, but Republicans have proposed a major cut of $40 billion, which is cruel and heartless.
The earlier extension that ran out Nov. 1 was to give the poor a chance to bounce back from the recession. It hasn’t happened for the poor. The richest 1 percent have grown, the middle class has diminished, and the poor have grown poorer. Many food stamp recipients are the working poor, who do not earn enough money to feed their families. Children are fed by food stamps, and many have to go to school hungry. How are they to learn when they are hungry?
Yet Republicans continue to support subsidies in the agriculture bill that go to big and agri-business farmers, and to some congressmen. The food stamp program already needed an increase because of the increasing number of poor while the rich group grows bigger. No, food stamps do not make people get lazy — they keep them from starving. Think of all of the children, elderly and veterans on food stamps who do not have enough the eat. It is more than a shame for these people to be treated so shabbily.
This country has in fact become a third- rate nation, thanks to the GOP and their war on the poor. The rich keep getting richer, and they keep their money instead of creating good jobs with a decent wage that will support families. Food stamp cuts must be reversed and good jobs created so that poor families can feed themselves.
— Pat Bullard
China Grove
I have always been quick to criticize and question but very slow to praise. It’s time that changed.
I want to thank all North Carolina teachers for all that you do each day to teach my children — along with all the others that have passed or will pass through your doors. This year, you had to teach some subjects from “scratch” for the first several weeks of school because the county had not yet received or distributed the teaching materials. You’ve had change after change after change inflicted on you while never appearing to have missed a beat.
Always, you prepare worksheets and activities to reinforce whatever curriculum is in place. You plan projects to bring out each child’s creativity and imagination. You perform experiments to make learning interesting.
You come in early and stay late, and you take work home and you plan during your breaks. You essentially perform miracles by teaching the above average, the average and the below average, all in the same class at the same time. You keep track of allergies, medical conditions and special accommodations, not to mention 30 different personalities at any given time.
You love each child — and would disregard your own life to protect them! That one fact alone should earn you more respect and more pay than most professions. You hurt when your children struggle; you rejoice when they finally have that “aha” moment.
All teachers will say they teach because they want to make a difference in a child’s life. And you have! But because of this, our governing bodies have the attitude that this means no one should care about how you are treated — because you’ll do the job anyway. But you deserve the respect, compensation and benefits anyone would expect to receive with advanced degrees, certification and experience. Teachers will also say that they are a patient bunch. But I believe you’ve been patient far too long. Just know that I am one parent who appreciates you and completely supports you!
— Lori Stewart
Harrisburg

A lot of questions need to be answered as to why the citizens of Rowan County ought to be burdened by the albatross named the Salisbury Mall.
Some of these are:
Where is the money coming from to buy it?
How much will it cost to renovate the old building to usable space?
Why are there monitoring wells on the property that are not important but the ones on South Main Street are?
How much will our taxes go up to pay for this boondoggle?
Why all the secrecy by our “transparent” commission?
Why are our commissioners not so tolerant of others’ opinions on the subject?
— Ralph Walton
Salisbury

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