Letters to the editor — Sunday (5-1-2016)

Published 12:09 am Sunday, May 1, 2016


Priority must be improving schools

It does not matter how good or bad the plan, if it has the wrong objective. Why are there so many empty seats in Rowan-Salisbury Schools? I have quoted Mark Vitner, chief economist for  Wells Fargo, many times: “Any county that can solve its education challenge can write their own economic ticket.” Poor school performance is a downward spiral.  Good school performance makes the entire area more desirable, which leads to more and better jobs for the citizens and more corporate taxes to pay the government cost of services.

Start asking around. Lots of people that work here do not live or send their children to Rowan-Salisbury Schools. I suggest that before we go on a $100 million school construction spending spree, close neighborhood schools and bus children out of their community that we improve the school performance with what we have. It can be done. We the taxpayers must demand better school performance. If the current people cannot do the job, there are others that can. However, we as a community must support them. Yes, that starts in the home, but many areas with similar demographics are performing better. We MUST have discipline in the schools. I suggest we expand the alternative high school and  add middle and elementary capacity. The existing Knox campus might be suitable for this expanded alternative school.  Undisciplined children do not learn and prevent others from learning. Improved school performance should be the objective.

The entire consolidation plan seems to have been driven by the need to save money. I have a suggestion. Consolidate the school construction and maintenance with the larger County Maintenance Department. Both are funded by county money. Duplication is inefficient. It is the money of the citizens. The separate departments seem more about turf protection than efficiency. School Boards come and go. We look back at the results and cannot answer the question: “Why did they do that”? They did the best they knew how. It is not good enough. Maybe we need to change the way the School Board operates?  Maybe then we could have better performance and schools and  people who work here would want their children to attend? Maybe even attract some positive growth instead of a declining student population and empty seats in schools?

— John Leatherman


Justice served?

Gentlemen: The article on page 10A of today’s edition (April 27) concerning Dennis Hastert raises some pertinent questions about the American justice system, American attitudes, certainly where they imply a tendency to prejudge issues in which certain charges, by their nature, dispense with the presumption of innocence, no concerns about the possibility of false witness, perjury and hysteria seem to bother the masses, and even, as in this case, sentencing may involve or will involve a perversion of any notions of justice.

Yes, if guilty of financial crimes, he should be sentenced in a fair manner, but, how, I ask, is a past of sex-abuse allegations, not a trial which ended in a conviction, only allegations of undetermined accuracy and for which the statute of limitations has expired, possibly be of relevance in sentencing of the former congressman, except to satisfy the thirst for revenge of those strident pursuers of those they claim are guilty of sex crimes in the past?

How accurate are the claims after so many years, and how honest are the witnesses and their supporters? Are they never capable of perjury for the sake of publicity, gain and even revenge against someone for motives that bear no relationship to the charges? Why has this arisen in the case of Mr. Hastert, and if, indeed, he is given a sentence of several years in jail (in a Club Fed facility?), will this really be a case of justice served or merely another instance of catering to the mob of hysterical advocates of punishment to satisfy their lust for Schadenfreude?

— Richard Creel


 Read the bill

I want to ask one question about the controversial HB2. Have you read the bill or are you allowing the court of public opinion to serve as your guide? I will have to admit I just read it. Nowhere in this bill do I see any discrimination toward the LGBT community other than using the definition of sex being a person’s birth sex. As I read the bill, if a person is born one sex and has the opposite sex tendencies, the law mandates that a single-occupancy restroom/locker/shower be provided for that person. This pertains to any government facility. The private sector would be free to address this matter as they see fit.

I, for one, would appreciate knowing I could go to a restroom and feel fairly certain there would not be a person of the opposite gender who is actually a predator using the law set up by the Charlotte/Mecklenburg City Council to satisfy the predator’s longing. I have granddaughters who could be intimidated by someone like that if they were confronted. They are old enough not to have me hold their hands, but having never been in a situation as mentioned above would/could be frightened enough not to be able to get out of the situation.

I’m appalled by the entertainers, businesses and organizations which are using this law as a reason not to business in this state. I would bet if one of their family members were confronted by a person who was using the original law set up by the Charlotte community they would be horrified.

I do not fully understand the LGBT community, but I don’t see where any of their rights are being infringed upon. By law any man, woman or child will be allowed to use a restroom/locker room/shower without being subjected to intimidation. There will be a single-use facility for anyone.

I applaud the state Legislature for foresight. I know they are under a lot of pressure from many people who really don’t know or care to change their minds. But I ask the loud voices to please read the law and show me where the discrimination exists.

— Patti Marion