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Letters to the editor — Wednesday (2-19-2014)

Governor McCrory announced a new teacher pay plan with great fanfare last week. But it doesn’t begin to address the problems we have with teacher pay and classroom resources in North Carolina and seems only to pay some “lip service” to those of us who are truly concerned about the state of education in North Carolina, a political move to quiet our voices. That’s not going to happen with this weak proposal, Governor McCrory!
Most teachers won’t get any pay raise under this plan, including our most experienced teachers — the very ones our kids need the most.
The plan will do nothing to recruit or retain teachers. The N.C. starting salary will still be well below what Virginia offers and below the national average starting salary for teachers. Worse, under this plan, a teacher who has worked for a decade will make the same salary as a teacher in their second year. Whatever happened to rewarding experience?
This plan falls well short of the goal laid out by former Gov. Jim Hunt to raise teacher pay to the national average within four years. Hunt’s plan is a good one, and we must pursue it if we are to save North Carolina’s reputation as the “Good Education State.” Our children are depending on us.
Governor McCrory, and many of the N.C. legislators, seem destined to make sure that they will only serve their current terms. They appear to be totally unaware of how out-of-line this and their other recent actions are with what the majority of N.C. voting citizens want for their state, or they don’t care. The latter seems more likely.
Governor McCrory, there are millions of N.C. voters who have waited too long for you to realize the error of your ways. This may be your last warning before you (and N.C. legislators) find yourselves in another line of work.
— Ed Clark
Salisbury

Prayerful. That’s what I pray to be each day … shouldn’t life itself be a prayer?
Yes, I have a religion of choice, a Christian religion. I study the Holy Bible, cherishing both the Ten Commandments and Christ Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and Jesus’ commands to love God and my neighbor as myself. Saying we love is easy; yearning to act it out can be hard, particularly when it includes the demand to respect how others name and view the Almighty-presence.
Many things, poets, scholars, artists, singers — holy and not so holy men and women — from Moses and Jesus to Ruth, Mohammed and Gandhi; from Martin Luther to Martin Luther King, Mary Baker Eddy and St. Catherine; puppies and kittens, birds and flowers, and my own kids — all have inspired my prayers and lifted deep yearnings.
Maybe prayer in its essence is about listening to the heart, our own and others’, while listening for the divine. At this point I hope to no more question another’s heart than his choice of music. Or faith.
So my question, do community meetings need to begin with a plea to honor Christ Jesus, exclusively anyway? His message holds its own: love another as yourself.
If a prayer is needed, surely a gracious, respectful moment of silence would honor everyone, present or not, and would bring everyone together into respectful peace with listening hearts.
What a wonderful way that would be to begin anything.
— Patti Kadick
Salisbury
Oh, what a night! The Concert for the Community Collaboration held at the First United Methodist Church last Saturday night was planned and directed by Matthew Brown, music director at FUMC. Music was provided by baritone Markus Beam of New York and a native of Vale, and accompanied by pianist Nancy Johnston, a member of the artist-faculty at the University of N.C. School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.
The church’s FirstARTS concerts were established to shed greater light on those heroic organizations that provide assistance and care for the less fortunate and often neglected in Rowan County. Saturday night’s event raised $10,000 for the Family Crisis Council of Rowan County, a United Way agency. The mission of the Family Crisis Council is to help empower victims of rape, sexual assault, incest and domestic violence to take back their lives. Matthew’s sole purpose was “to stir the soul and return thanks to our Creator for the many blessings of this life and the world to come.”
— Renee Bradshaw
Salisbury
Renee Bradshaw is the executive director of the Family Crisis Council of Rowan County.

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