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Talkback: What online readers say about …

… Bill backed by Ford would eliminate school board lawsuits

Greg Edds is 100 percent right about the current boards. If the two boards today can work together effectively today, and I fully expect them to be able to based on Greg’s excellent leadership and the pro education views of Judy Klusman and Jim Green, then whether or not lawsuits are an option is irrelevant.

The problem is, though, there is no guarantee that future boards will be made up of “people of good will.” Jim Sides indicated that he likely will run again, and who knows if he can pull it off? If he does, any good will will go right out the window. Don’t take away the option for the school board to use litigation. If somehow Rowan County is asleep at the switch and Jim Sides and his ilk sneak their way back in to power, the school board will need it…

— Greg Shields

Rep. Ford should be awarded the “Order of the Long Leaf Palmetto!”

— Mack Williams

… Rowan authorities Taser, struggle with East Spencer man; family says force excessive

Why is it, may I ask, black people seem to have such problems with authority? They have such bad attitudes toward everyone. Not accusing every black of this but probably all 35 and under ….

— John Breedlove

It’s authority that has problems with a few black and white people. They are rebelling against a system that is perceived to block their avenues to productive lives. Hopelessness and desperation mixed with pride is prevalent. They see no other alternative than to buck authority.

— Reginald Brown

John Breedlove, if someone is a thief, they are not going to respect authority because (1)they are doing something wrong and don’t want to go to jail, and (2) maybe they don’t respect people in general, not just authority.

Overall, I would not agree that black people have such a problem with authority, no more than other races of people. It is those who get into trouble we always have the privilege of knowing what their attitude is, or seems to be.

In addition to that, I’m sure you watch the news. Black men probably feel a bit less safe when it comes to police encounters. I don’t have to tell you why.

— Shameka Smith

… About Rowan Animal Shelter

Great article, Nina! Positive thinking and actions create an environment where everyone can work together and focus on the welfare and wellbeing of the animals, which is the entire reason we do what we do!

— Maria Pannell

So true. Playing the blame game is just a waste of energy. That energy should be reserved to save the shelter animals. There is actually less drama now than a couple of years back so that is good.

— Haydee Torres

Very well said. A couple of questions though. Is the capacity of the shelter going to be increased by the additions and if so are there currently enough employees to handle an increase in capacity? If they can’t handle it is the county going to hire additional employees? Also, has there been any progress made along the lines of the county allowing volunteers to help out in the shelter?

— Kim McKenzie

“The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” Glad to know I will not be told no if I come up to the shelter any afternoon now. …This was a reply to an email I sent asking why I was denied the ability to go outside and photograph animals (through the fence, I will add). This happened on two different occasions.

“ Wednesdays & Thursdays are the only two days you will be allowed to take pictures. Staff have been instructed that you are to take pictures on these two days only. If you want to continue taking pictures here at the shelter, you will abide by our rules. …”

— Candace Terry

I am an implied volunteer at the Rowan County Animal Shelter that is allowed to photograph eight dogs a week for one allocated hour for an organization, Friends of Rowan County Animal Shelter. Yes, an employee is with us for that one hour. … Many weeks we may be done with eight dogs in 30 minutes. If we ask to remove more dogs from kennels for photographs we are told no. … A dog photographed outside a kennel allows us to show a more relaxed dog, wagging tail and hopefully the dogs true personality. It is difficult to capture the right photo behind the wire cage of a dog terrified, cowering, barking, confused, etc. 

Three short years ago, Rowan County Animal Shelter was killing thousands of animals under the current management. The positive change came with private groups such as Fix Rowan, Friends of Rowan County, Rescue Rowan, Save a Life, etc. These individuals stepped in and a took a risk. They marched, protested, begged, prayed and worked for change. Why? Because the management would not remove the gas chamber, would not implement proven programs, provide photographs on intake, limited information, etc. We can not forget the history of the shelter and all those thousands of animals lost. I’m proud of these individuals and their courage to speak up and demand the killing stop.

— Tracy Waugh

Instead of being focused on “fixing” Rowan, let’s be focused on building up Rowan, rescuing the Rowan animals, and being a true friend of the Animal Shelter. Instead of looking at the shelter as something that is broken and needs to be fixed, why not focus on the positives of the shelter, and the hard work of the staff there to change things along side the positive members of the community? Go in and adopt today, and please, spay and neuter your pets!

— Sallie Thompson

… Legislators should open minds to medical marijuana

I’m 72, don’t care about smoking pot, but if others wish to that’s their choice; after all, I enjoy a glass of wine. I have taken Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods hemp oil every day for good health and want the opportunity to take cannabis oil high in CBD for optimal health. It took an inner ear virus three years ago leaving me with dizziness and balance issues to start my researching. I am a believer and supporter; just do your own researching. I have told all my doctors/specialists that if they tell me that I have cancer, I will go to the nearest state where it is legal for my treatment of choice.

— Faye Daniels

Legalize on the world level.

— Benjamin Lane

Thanks for taking a stand. Maybe next long session when another medical cannabis bill is introduced you will have the courage of your convictions to run a similar editorial before the legislature hears the bill instead of waiting until they kill it.

— Ann Caughran

I can’t help but wonder if N.C. legislators suffer from “not-in-my-backyard” syndrome… “You want to use that ‘devil’s weed’? Then move!”

“Marijuana Refugees” are steadily leaving NC to get the medical help they need. Do N.C. lawmakers even care?

— Dana Hall

There is science on the benefits of medical marijuana in treating physical and mental disorders. There are at least 23 states already allowing doctors to prescribe certain compounds derived from marijuana that do not make patients feel high. Rather, they have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic benefits.

When North Carolina figures out that they can make money on this, they will change their minds. Until then, it will be similar to the lottery — folks will leave this state to get what they need.

— Mark Lyerly

… Legislators draw criticism …

Thanks to Dr. Lynn Moody for challenging the idea forwarded by Mr. Brock that schools were spending too much money on administration. Moody reminded the speakers that RSS is the largest employer in Rowan County and is extremely lean in key and necessary administration.

Just a moment before, Brock had told an anecdote that the classifying of schools’ performance as “Excellent,” “School of Progress,” etc. was too confusing and that A,B,C,D, or F is much more understandable.

He also reported that constituents call his office and remark, “Why do ‘A’ schools need assistant principals — or even a principal at all? Let the teachers run the school.” Mr. Brock didn’t challenge that idea. As an anecdote, that’s not funny. As a statement of belief, it’s scary.

— Ron Turbyfill

… State tax changes backfiring

N.C. income tax rate went from 6 percent to 5.8 percent for the majority of residents. A worker earning $456 a week (38 hours of work at $12/hour) now takes home 91 cents more a week. Sales tax on utility bills increased from 3 percent to 7 percent. So if your average electric bill is $80 a month, you saw a $3.20 increase. That eats up most of your tax break right there!

It’s insulting to one’s intelligence when the Republicans here locally and on the national scale claim they’re reaching out to the middle class with tax breaks. We now are handing more of our hard-earned money up to the top while our schools and infrastructure crumble.

— Carl Prine

Shuffling the tax burden around like that does not instill much trust from rank and file taxpayers who are not millionaires getting breaks they don’t need.

— Jeff Morris

  Lazy 5 Ranch cited

As an animal caretaker, these things are small issues. Lazy 5 is an amazing care facility with their resources.

USDA inspections can be brutal, especially when PETA starts pushing around like the big bully they are. PETA is ineffective and cares little about what happens to animals.

If they truly wanted to help they would stop trying to shut facilities down and offer donations and volunteer time within other organizations instead of just being loud-mouthed bullies that throw propaganda and legal terms around. … It is easier to tear down than to build up.

— Katie French

Can y’all imagine if an investigation with this kind of effort was put into place to see what kind of care our elementary aged kids were receiving at home? Leave Lazy 5 alone. PETA has messed with enough small businesses in N.C.

— Brian Shaw

After reading the article a couple of times, it seems like they had to look very hard to find something worthy of citation. I don’t know if depriving a lemur of a toy rises to the level of extreme neglect. A barn stall smells of urine? Has anyone involved or reading this ever worked on a farm? The expired drugs “may” no longer be effective?

I hardly think these findings constitute a hell hole. Apparently some visitors, assuming that they are not PETA plants, expect a pristine habitat, something which occurs neither in nature nor in captivity. Simply the cost of doing business, I suppose.

— Bruce La Rue

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