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Letters to the editor — Thursday (Oct. 31, 2014)

All about excellence, committed to service

I am pleased to endorse Jean Kennedy for re-election to the Rowan-Salisbury School Board.

I have known Jean since our days at Livingstone College. At Livingstone, she was about excellence in all of her academic studies. She has continued with the same passion in all her endeavors. As an educator in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Jean challenged her students to always strive for excellence. Jean has always worked to promote literacy.

During her tenure on the board, Jean has fought for quality education for all students. Her continued efforts have ensured that Rowan students will be prepared to compete in our ever changing global world.

In addition to her work on the school board, Jean works tirelessly in various civic organizations in the community as well as serving as a dedicated and faithful member of Southern City A.M.E. Zion Church.

Jean is very knowledgeable, dependable, dedicated, and committed to service. On Tuesday, Nov. 4, join with me and vote Jean B. Kennedy back to the Rowan-Salisbury School Board so that she can continue to work for our students, teachers, and citizens of Rowan County.

— Shirley L. Holt


Not mean spirited

Recently a mean-spirited ad was run by Rowan Alliance against three gentlemen running for Board of Education: Seat 1, Phil Hardin; Seat 2, Dean Hunter; and Seat 4, Travis Allen. Neither these men, nor those supporting them have said or done anything mean-spirited toward their opponents. So please, get out and vote for these gentlemen; our students need them.

The thought of someone being mean-spirited brings to mind another; please vote Kay Hagan out so we can get rid of Harry Reid.

— Donna Kesler


The most competent

Our highest appellate court should be guided by the most competent, experienced jurist available. That person is Chief Justice Mark Martin who has presided as a Superior Court judge, served as a member of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and, for the past 15 years, has been a sitting justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court.

He is endorsed by five former chief justices and is a person of whom North Carolina can be extremely proud. I commend his reelection as chief justice for your consideration.

— John L. Holshouser Jr.


How far in Bible teaching?

Regarding the teaching of the Bible in schools, I have a few questions. 

Just what are those children being taught? For example, are they being taught that birds were created before man and man was created before birds? (Genesis 1:21-26, Genesis 2:7-19)

Trees were created before man and man was created before trees? (Genesis 1:12-31, Genesis 2:5-9)

Are they going to be taught that bats are birds? (Leviticus 11:5-6)

Are they going to be taught that rabbits chew cud like a cow? (Leviticus 11:5-6)

Be sure to teach them that the sun and the moon stood still (Joshua 10:13) and the sun went backward. (II Kings 20:8-11)

I mean really now, this nonsense that the Earth revolves around the sun and spins on its axis is a lie from the pit of hell and should be banned from being taught in our schools.

We need the Bible, our science textbook, and our God in schools — and nobody else’s.

How about satyrs, creatures part man and part goat exist? (Isaiah 13:21)

As far as the law of the Bible goes, are they going to be taught to kill atheists and other non-Christians (Luke 19:27) How about killing Wiccans? (Exodus 22:18)

Are they going to be told to sell all their possessions and give the money to the poor (Luke 12:33) or just give it all up? (Luke 14:33) Hardly.

When I was in school back in the 1960s, a Bible teacher came into our school to tell us Bible stories. She told us how Jezebel was thrown off a high tower and made a bloody, grisly mess of her. She thought it was funny. It made me feel sick.

I’m inspired by something Thomas Paine once said, “to wit that any system of religion that shocks the mind of a child cannot be a true system.”

Parting shot: “One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.” — Thomas Paine

— R. Howard Andrews


Thank a public servant

Election Day is now just a week away and Rowan County residents are called to once again exercise their right to vote. Hopefully the events of this past year will spur Rowan’s residents to want a say in the direction of our local, state and national governments.

This is shaping up to be the most important local election in decades, specifically as it relates to the Board of County Commissioners, with three seats to be filled. The challenges facing the to-be-elected new commissioners are numerous,  so who in their right mind would voluntarily step into this hornet’s nest? Money isn’t an incentive; county commissioners’ salaries are approximately $12,000 annually.

Would you run for commissioner given the salary versus the job requirements, time commitment and contentious nature of the job? There are very few residents who would say yes.

Very few residents want the other “public servant” jobs either. For example, a career in education is no longer as enticing as it once was. An educator today has less job security, must pay for a portion of their benefits package, works longer hours on campus and then works nights and weekends at home processing emails, Twitter tweets, planning lessons and “volunteering” at school events. All this is done in return for salaries that are ranked among the worst in the country.

It has been said via word of mouth that most non-management public service jobs have similar conditions to those of our educators.

So what can you do? First, get out and vote for positive change next week. Second, and maybe most importantly, make a concerted effort to say thanks to those who seek office, are currently elected, those who are on the front lines ensuring our safety, those who are educating our youth and all others who perform tasks behind the scenes that make our county and municipalities function smoothly. These are truly thankless jobs. So do your part, vote and say thanks. It’s easy and it’s the least we can do.

— Barry Robertson


Common sense judge

I have been an attorney in Rowan County for the immediate past 41 years. I have been truly blessed and honored to serve the people of Rowan County.

Furthermore, I have had the honor of practicing law with three of the best judges I have ever known, including the Honorable Judge Robert Warren, who served  our county as chief judge for 22 years; the Honorable Judge Mary Pope; and the Honorable Judge James Dooley, who served us not only as a judge here but also as a senior assistant district attorney. They all possessed strong characteristics which define a judge.

To be a good judge, it requires not only a strong legal ability and knowledge of the law, but also common sense to determine what is fair and just to the many people a judge serves while on the bench. Equally important is a strong work ethic and being totally dedicated to the many tasks at hand. These values are critical in maintaining the high standards required of the designation of judge at any level.

Judges must be fair and impartial not lending themselves to political influences and partisan politics.

The upcoming election for judge in Rowan County is significant in many ways and extremely important to everyone in our county.

It is for my love of my profession, the community in which I live and most importantly, the people of Rowan County that I give unsolicited endorsement for James Randolph for District Court judge for Rowan County. He has worked diligently to place himself in a position to serve our county as judge. He maintains all the traits to continuing the standard of the judiciary that we expect.

It is my hope and prayer that you will join me in supporting him for District Court judge of Rowan County.

— Cecil L. Whitley


Lest we forget

Six years ago the current administration inherited a $12 trillion debt. This was due to two wars, one of which was self-inflicted. That was compounded by having an administration that insisted we could fight wars (an expensive pastime) while cutting taxes. Tax cuts may be popular but have been proven to increase any debt that may already be incurred.

When the new administration tried to level off the tax breaks, the opposition insisted on more cuts and started a war of making the administration a one-term affair.

Where did this get us? It got us $5 trillion more debt and a lot of unhappy people. One example of this is the large population of veterans who are unhappy with the services they have been receiving. They should be unhappy, after the sacrifices they have endured for the country. Unfortunately they are being fed a bunch of baloney that it is the fault of the administration.

If we have no money, some things must be cut, and it is not taxes for the superrich. Unfortunately, it is the necessities that have been cut by Congress, including veterans’, education, health services, and jobs for the working poor.

Meanwhile, the superrich have parlayed their wealth and lower taxes into piles of money to buy themselves your government. Is that what you fought for, and your comrades in arms died for, while the rich made money on the war machine?

The piles of money that are being spent on the election has only one good side. It does mean some money is getting into circulation. The bad side is the money is propaganda advertising at its worst. Don’t buy the propaganda. The economy is finally moving again in spite of interference and scare tactics. Go with the people who have fought to move the country forward.

— Donald C. Tracy


Got it backwards

The writer is referring to a letter that appeared in the Post on Oct. 23, “Politicians, straighten up.”

Joe Barnhardt, like most Democrats, has things pretty much backwards. Republicans don’t have to lie; the truth does quite nicely.

Democrats have proven themselves to be very capable of assassinating their own characters, and prone to blaming others for it after it happens.

— Dave Wilson


Don’t spread votes

Thanks, Gus Andrews, for confirming what I already knew:  Greg Edds is Jim Sides with better manners.

Enough conducting county business by private telephone. Enough treating the county reserve fund balance as the commissioners’ private ATM machine. Enough spending money on ill-conceived projects (paying $10 per square foot for a building worth $5 a square foot is NOT a bargain, Mr. Cohen) without due diligence or taxpayer input. The city slicks saw the rubes coming, and then laughed all the way to the bank after conning them out of the Bojangles property, the only parcel of value.

If there was such an urgent need for space for the veterans’ office, the Board of Elections, and the West End folks, why buy a mall? Why not put them in some of the empty buildings which the county already owned? You’ve been trying to foist them off on the schools for a central office for years.

For all those opposed to the manner in which county business has been conducted in the past few years, we need to select three consensus candidates, and all of us: non-Tea Party Republicans, Independents, and yes, Dems, need to vote for only those three.  I am willing to support Gene Miller, Raymond Coltrain, and Jim Greene.  If we spread our votes, then Edds will be elected by default and we are back where we started.

As for Locklear, Klusman and Belk, all fine candidates in their own right, there will be another election in two years at which time two more emperors will need to be dethroned.  I for one hope you will run again should you not be elected this time.

But most importantly:  Go vote. Vote early. There is an extremely long ballot this year which will take time to go through.  Get a sample ballot beforehand so you are familiar with it and note your choices.

And one final thought: Jon Barber, thank you for your service. Many of us would have voted for you again, realizing that Jon Barber, flaws and all, was a far superior representative and steward of the taxpayers money than the others with whom he served. There were no personal agendas, no petty vindictiveness, only a sincere desire to do what was in the best interests of the Rowan taxpayers. Sides and company would have done well to have listened to you.

— D. C. Sink   


Find the secret sauce

I for one cannot wait until next Tuesday. It seems as if this political season has been particularly long and bloody. Much of this feeling is likely a by-product of the Tillis-Hagan barrage of hard-hitting and largely misleading TV ads that we have been marinated in over the last six months.

As most politically engaged citizens know, these ad dollars have largely come from outside interests whose only real interests lay inside the D.C. Beltway. Our state is simply one of a half dozen or so pawns being used in a larger political chess game. If there is a common strategy in hotly contested Senate races, it is the constant drumbeat of political gotchas and fear mongering.

While I reference our Senate race above, our local elections have not been devoid of some of the same chicanery, misdirection and innuendo. I would be willing to bet that most of us on both a state and local level have long grown weary of it. I personally find it offensive and an insult to my intelligence.

Like many of you, choosing a candidate to support is a fairly straight-forward process for me. I simply look at the key issues. I then evaluate the vision piece. Is this person capable of developing a long-term strategy supported by shorter term goals?

If I like what I see, I go straight to experience. How has he or she concretely demonstrated achievement in complex environments be they political or otherwise? Are the leadership skills clearly evident?

And lastly, I look for the secret sauce. Does this person have the heart, mind, soul and grit to get the job done? And in the end, I have my candidate. Vote Greg Edds for Rowan County Commissioner next Tuesday.

— Matt Barr


Well-run recycling day

Thanks to those who made the Rowan County special waste recycling day a quick and pleasant experience. I found the event to be well-organized and efficiently run by very helpful and friendly people. A great service for the people of Rowan County.

— Gordon Rutzen




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