Talkback: What online readers say about …

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 22, 2016

… HB2’s uncertain impact

Prior to the enactment of HB2, the North Carolina counties of Buncombe, Mecklenburg, and Orange, the cities of Asheville and Charlotte and the towns of Boone, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Greensboro and Raleigh prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The counties of Durham and Guilford along with the cities of Bessemer City, Durham, High Point, and Winston-Salem prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation only.

All those laws are now gone. No matter where you live in North Carolina, you can get married on Saturday and get fired from your job the following Monday if your boss doesn’t like gay marriage. This a giant step backward for the state, and corporate America is right to be unhappy about it.

— Chuck Anziulewicz

Gov. Pat McCrory, you can run from HB2, but you cannot hide. Thank you, Attorney General Roy Cooper, for your stance against Hate Bill 2 and all its ramifications. This bill challenges the equal protection clause in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, in my opinion. Thanks, Mr. Cooper, for supporting the Constitution by refusing to defend HB2 in court.

— Reginald Brown

McCrory is not running. Roy Cooper’s embrace of this repeal, his championing of the sacred right to pee, whenever and wherever, will bring him to overwhelming, ignominious, and complete defeat.

The fact is, this bill simply restores to business owners their right to govern their own businesses’ bathrooms. The Charlotte ordinance that HB2 overturned would have stripped businesses of that long established prerogative.

— Stephen Owen

…Moody responds to allegations over Save Our Schools meeting

The school board should have used the money that was spent on their new building to update these schools with what they need. … We as taxpayers should have had a say in whether or not a new building was built for the school board. They should have moved to the Salisbury Mall area like they had talked about. … We as tax payers should have more rights on what needs to be done, because if it wasn’t for the taxpayers, then the school board and system wouldn’t have jobs or be here. …

Rowan County residents and taxpayers need to fight for all these schools and these kids. They are our future.

— Tabitha Rinehardt

Moody decides whether or not principal contracts get continued. Note the amount of principals she has gotten rid of since she has been here. She and central office staff tell principals what do to and they have to do the dirty work of canceling meetings and telling teachers not to attend or they will find their principal contracts not renewed at a later date.

— Bob Davis

I remain convinced, after re-investigating today, that Moody had a meeting with principals on Tuesday and that “the system” canceled the meeting at Faith School. I bet during a lawsuit that I could prove that with depositions. …

In the end, I have looked at the maps and it is my concerted opinion that the rural elementary schools are being shut down and “moved in” to provide high-testing students for low-testing schools so we can acquire a consistent level of mediocrity throughout the system.

— Todd Paris

The meeting on April 25, is scheduled to begin at 4  p.m. As a retired teacher who substitutes, how are teachers, Rowan-Salisbury Schools employees, staff and working parents able to attend when their working hours extend until 4 p.m. and beyond? Profitable discussions cannot take place unless all factions are represented.

— Daisy Bost

… Families like their schools

“Scenario 1” concludes: “Not counting the 2,100 students now attending the six schools that are to be closed, an additional 2,200 students would not attend the elementary school they attended the previous school year.”

That totals 4,300 students and their families. Not merely 2,100. I don’t know the solution, but that is over a third of elementary school students in the Rowan-Salisbury system. It will pose a huge leadership opportunity to bring this large a number of folks together.

— Jeff Morris

Something else which, to my knowledge, has not been discussed, is the expense of dealing with closed school buildings which are clearly not in bad enough condition to close down. This is a Rowan-Salisbury School System responsibility under the “cradle to grave” responsibility for public properties. Look at what has happened in East Spencer. Who is, and always has been, responsible for the clean up of the Dunbar property? Is that in the RSSS budget, I wonder?

— Whitney Peckman

… School board member: Opponents to consolidation relying on emotion

My “personal assault” on the gentleman was in response to his disruption of my lunch at a local restaurant a few days ago at which time Mr. Cohen came to my table and began badgering me over voting to close Cleveland Elementary School. I asked him to sit down and discuss his concerns about school consolidation. He refused in a hostile, insulting manner, saying, “I’ll never sit down with you. I voted for you once but I won’t again.” He then added that his roofing business had to close because the school board would not give him roofing contracts he felt he deserved because he was “local.” …

I also reminded the audience that there would be a town-hall meeting at West Rowan High on April 28 at which time they could express their concerns, adding that the architecture firm that devised the consolidation scenario would be able to respond to questions that I could not answer.

I regret the timing and place of my response. For that, I do apologize to the gentleman and the attendees.

— Chuck Hughes

Were you being serious when suggesting the solution to shortening bus routes is to add more buses? That means you would be buying more buses at around $75,000, having to hire more bus drivers (that you already have trouble getting), increase in maintenance costs (more people to work on them and supply cost), and rise in fuel cost. This cost still comes at a longer bus ride for many students. …

The sadness to me in all of this is (neither) you nor any other member of the school board has come out to say how this plan is better for the students involved.

— Brad Massey

I, for one, am glad the school board is looking at options that include contentious things like consolidation. Everyone keeps saying the school system needs to do “something,” but by God, every time changes are suggested, parents jump up and down in anger.

All I want are schools I can send my kids to. Home schooling is hard and expensive (which we’re doing, anyway) and all the private schools are full. I mean no insult to the teachers here — they can only work with what they have.

It’s time to embrace some changes. If we can get the schools around here straight, employers will start considering Salisbury instead of just building in Mooresville. No one wants to live in a county with some of the lowest-ranked schools when only 20 miles away they can live in a district with the highest-ranked schools. We’re not going to see better employment, housing values or a lot of growth until that changes. Consolidation would at least help with the expenses of trying to improve our school system.

— Roy Bentley

I love that (reporter Josh) Bergeron mentioned how Paris formed a group to get rid of Jim Sides …  and then in the next paragraph Paris sings the praises of Jim Sides, who did not raise the taxes to raise the money for the school bond. Very interesting change of heart. His next campaign should be “Paris for Sellsword.”

— Beth Bentley

…. Morgan PTA raises $40,000 for new playground

I desperately want my child to stay and finish elementary school at Morgan. That said. I don’t believe for one second that the principal and PTA “had no idea school closures were an issue.” They have been an ongoing issue for years now. Personally I expressed at the 1st PTA meeting of the year that this school needs a lot of things, but a $46,800 playground is far from one of them.

Maybe they thought it would help keep the school open. If that was the plan and it works, I support it. However, I find it very underhanded that during all of the fundraising, no one ever said or made it clear that the new playground would only be for the third- through fifth- graders. …

After complaints from parents of younger kids, they were all allowed to use it for a few minutes, one time. So I’d like everyone to be honest: the school, the board, the PTA, and anyone else who’s involved in making life changing decisions for … our children.

— Laura DeSiato

Morgan Elementary is the foundation of our community and is loved by all. We’re told our school needs a new roof and I believe our community can make that happen. There is no logical reason for our school to close. And shame on our school board for keeping it a secret if they had been planing to close our school. They knew the PTA was raising money for the playground. We won’t let them close our school with out a fight.

— Melinda Morgan

… Model survivors

What an inspiring and amazing event. Incredible what these strong women have been through and have survived!

— Ann Marie Bourque

Strong and beautiful women!

— June Pryor

… John Hood: School choice in elementary, secondary schools isn’t radical

More efforts to siphon scarce tax resources from public schools. For every success story about a charter school there are probably 10 about those that fail, taking unaccounted for tax funds with them.

— Ron Turbyfill

The best way to strengthen North Carolina’s public schools is for the N.C. General Assembly to discontinue vilifying them by assigning misleading letter grades, opposing the NCAE at every turn, and moving taxpayer money to religious schools. By the way, John Hood is an employee of Art Pope.

— Karen Puckett

… Local animal advocate cleared of criminal charges

… I suggest you join Jen Frasier’s tireless efforts. The facts are, she is an animal advocate and assisting with the chronic issue of pet overpopulation. She actively has animals altered to prevent the enormous pet overpopulation. Go, Jen Frasier! You have supporters who are on your side. I have personally viewed her work and adopted my Pippa the Pom and will always be a strong supporter.

— Shawna Heglar

Jen is such a kind-hearted lady, I knew there was no way in hell she was guilty of abandonment. The group those cats were signed over to needs to be charged with abandonment.

— Kate Rohl

If he limits rescues, then he allows animal control to kill the cats not adopted in the few days they are allotted. Ridiculous!

— Janis Mullis

Glad she was cleared so she can help more babies in need

— Beth Stubbs

Limit the number of rescues for one person/group so more cats will be killed? Be glad someone is willing to help. The real problem is not requiring spay/neuter before adoption.

— Lin Litaker

… Leonard Pitts: Conservatives lie about history to save conscience

Nice race baiting, Leonard. Won’t you be proud when the riots come?

— J.R. Neumiller

Race baiting, my eye. This response speaks to exactly what Mr. Pitts addresses in this column; when a truth is inconvenient, divert, deny, spin, lie.

— Lisa Dyer

… Koster: Response to Duke on solar

The writer forgot to say that N.C. is fourth in the nation for solar energy, much of that led by Duke Energy. Also, N.C. has full retail net metering — meaning rooftop solar customers get more $$$ for power than most states. (Work at Duke.)

— Randy Wheeless

… Today would be a good day to fly

Mark, that was a wonderful story and I’m so happy you were there to enjoy and document this flight with my brother, James, and the pilot, Gary Moore. I can’t thank “Committed To Caring” and everyone enough. James is a wonderful man who totally enjoyed this special gift of kindness. Thank you also for the photo so I could see James’ smile. I couldn’t be there with you, but your writing made me feel like I was. All our best from the Cox family.

— Hillary Casey

If I could have made a wish for my brother James, it would have been this. Over the years, we’ve sat around so many times talking aviation — he literally lived and breathed it. James is a funny, gentle, kind man who loves to start some kind of mischief and stay in the background and watch it unfold. He’s a much-loved brother, and I literally cried when I read your story. Just by a few words and the way you wrote them, you captured the man he is. Thank you to all who participated in this sort of “bucket list” wish, though I pray he has many more years to cross off a few others.

— Phyllis Carmichael

Mark, your writing is terrific, but just the mention of “Carolina Blue,” made the wonderful story about aviation less than perfect. Otherwise, I loved reading about Mr. Cox and the others mentioned in the story.

— David Safrit

… A day at Tiger World

We love Tiger World and tell everyone we know that they should go there. Take a box or two and something to spray on, like left over perfume, and you are giving the big cats a present. Thank you for the great review of such a great place.

— Evi Crump

Been going for years, it has come a long way. Lea has poured herself into Tiger World. I like to mention the staff as they do the day-to day work —team work.

— Sal Leone

… The house that disappeared

I hope someone can come forward and get this house back on track once more. I know it can be beautiful.

— Kathy Hodl