Letters to the editor — Sunday (6-26-16)

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 26, 2016

Support tobacco ban in county parks

In response and support of Whitey Harwood’s letter on June 16, and his campaign of M.O.V.E. (Make Our Visits Enjoyable) for the elimination of tobacco in parks within Rowan County, I can’t understand why there is no support from the community for this purpose.

You would think that the Cancer Society, Emphysema Foundation and anyone who has worked to remove smoking or tobacco use in restaurants, county and federal buildings would be on this bandwagon with the drum beating loudly.

County parks should fall under the same guidelines as buildings when you are looking at and for the well-being of all citizens that use and occupy these facilities. Smoke blowing across the field below the miniature golf course doesn’t seem to project a sense of caring. Those who are responsible for maintaining the integrity of our parks should be the ones that we hear the loudest. Looks like if it’s not on the money list, somethings are just placed to the side.

— Jimmie Porter

China Grove

Ketner gift priceless to vocational agency

It’s not every day that an agency or nonprofit receives a $1 million gift, but that is the blessing that Rowan Vocational Opportunities received in 1998 from Ralph and Anne Ketner to help secure the property on Old Concord Road (formerly the old Rowan County Health Department).

While accolades and tributes have been extolled in honor of Mr. Ralph W. Ketner, the consumers, staff and administration of RVO are reminiscing about the successful entrepreneur, community leader and generous philanthropist who, in 1998, accentuated and stimulated the positive growth and expression of the facility.

RVO was founded in 1966 to provide a setting for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities an opportunity to develop work habits and skills leading to employment. The workshop also provides these consumers with daily living skills to increase their independent functioning at home and in the community.

“Mr. Ketner was a true proponent of the concept of ‘learn while you earn,’ ” said Gary Yelton, executive director of RVO. “His belief was that everyone deserved to have an opportunity to fulfill their ultimate potential. While providing training opportunities, it would be important to exert physical and mental effort to overcome obstacles, while becoming wage-earning contributors to society.”.

From humble beginnings at the old Ellis School, the workshop has now expanded to over 200 consumers at their two sites. (One is located in Concord.) “There are over 30 businesses in the area who utilize the services of RVO for contract work,” according to Yelton.

“We will forever be eternally grateful to Mr. Ketner for his quest to help us turn disabilities into capabilities,” Yelton concluded.

Rowan Vocational Opportunities is one of 16 United Way agencies.

~Wilson R Cherry


Hold applause at graduation, or else

I recently heard about the lack of respect during at least one of the local high school graduation ceremonies by portions of the audience. Here is a solution that one school superintendent used to solve the problem:

“In Jackson, Miss., family members were asked to hold their applause until the end of the ceremony. When four people didn’t do as they were told, they were escorted out, and Superintendent Jay Foster pressed charges of disturbing the peace. He said he wanted them to know that there will be consequences for their actions. He said that over the years, yelling and screaming at the graduation ceremony has gotten out of hand and become very disruptive.”

— Emily Stirewalt


Guess who’s paying fat health-care tab

The writer is responding to an Associated Press story in the June 21 paper, “Struggle to get seasonal workers health insurance.”

The article reports that some people don’t have monthly payments, and others could pay $40 per month. Apolinar Castillo of Zacatecas, Mexico, said “he didn’t think twice about paying $10.55 per month for health insurance.”

Are you freaking kidding me? How about running some articles about the way us taxpaying Americans are getting stuck with their insurance bill, both in premiums and in taxes? My $220-a-month, $5,000 deductible plan that Obama said I could keep was canceled. Two years later I pay $630 a month with a $6,800 deductible that pays nothing until I hit my deductible.

I’m $14,360 out of pocket per year before I have health coverage. But I now have maternity care, child eye care coverage, and my mammograms are now covered.

My employee’s family coverage went from $600 to $1,600 a month. These are for the lowest Bronze package offered by Coventry. I know people whose monthly premiums went from $600 to $2,100 and worse. It goes on and on, but the liberal, Obama- and Democrat-water-carrying press won’t tell the taxpayers that Obama instructs the U.S. Treasury to write checks to the insurance companies even though the spending has not been approved by Congress.

People like me get screwed twice more paying for everyone’s free, vote-buying entitlements.

Obama and his speech writers make fun of us by bragging that they had to lie about Obamacare to get it passed. Now they are backing a life-long lying criminal like Hillary.

The only reason Obamacare has survived is because there’s enough voters getting government freebies and Obama has pushed the employer-mandated health insurance back several times to 2017, which keeps the campaign dollars flowing from large corporations while we little guys get screwed. Who do you think illegals with free healthcare are going to vote for?

— Alan Champion


Post bias against guns is obvious

The writer is responding to an article in the June 17 paper, “A closer look: Gun experts weigh in on Orlando shooting, assault rifles.”

After reading another article on gun control, I see the Salisbury Post’s bias is showing. If the report had been correct I wouldn’t have a problem.

Again we have the term, “assault rifle.” An assault rifle is a weapon of medium caliber that is capable of automatic fire. These rifles are not available to most people but are used by the military and law enforcement agencies.

The weapon the Orlando shooter used was a semiautomatic rifle. These have been in use for over 100 years.

There is a new term coined by Democrats in Congress. It was called an “assault weapon.” This weapon was not different from those used except in its look. It may be black, have a pistol grip and a magazine. It is not an automatic rifle, nor can it be converted to an automatic weapon.

I know that this doesn’t fit the bias of the Post’s staff, but they never let the facts interfere with their attempt to affect public opinion. After people blame the NRA and law-abiding gun owners for the crime in Orlando, I have one question: Was it a young Baptist boy on his way from prayer meeting who passed a gun store and heard a voice that forced him to come in, purchase two guns and slaughter 49 people? I understand it was an Islamic radical.

Try to find who committed the crime in the Post. Good luck. This little item seems to be omitted. If you read the Post, several things are evident: all guns are bad (never used for good), Republicans are evil and Democrats are always good. This biased reporting is the reason the mainstream media has a lower rating than Congress. The mainstream media’s favorable rating is a whopping 6 percent. ‘Nuff said.

— John Sims

China Grove

Calling all fowl; Salisbury watching

What now but an unnecessary ordinance against “chickens and roosters”? As any poulterer knows, roosters or hens are chickens. Are we not inclusive? Do we discriminate and bully roosters in Salisbury? Do we need separate coops and bathrooms — HB2C?

Who has time to scoop up chicken poop daily to comply with the new ordinance? Who would be checking? Who pays them? What would their title be? Would litter boxes comply?

Our elected nobility surely would be better served debating the threat of the Zika mosquito out in the Brenner Avenue swamp.

Or consider the fireflies of the field. They neither pay taxes nor storm water fees. But not one of them is allowed a public hearing. Lightning bugs do blink and have colored lights. Are they permitted by the Historic Preservation Commission’s certificate of appropriateness? Have they tried for a permit at the One Stop? Better yet, can we sell them Fibrant to send signals with their peers on Firefly Facebook?

This is blinking crazy. Where is Animal Control when we need them on weekends? Are all birds in our sanctuary in jeopardy? Why are all roosters not fighting mad? Can we serve chicken feed at the shelter?

City Council should table the chicken issue indefinitely. Bring your own store-bought eggs. Cluck.

— Clyde


Rifles might have stopped Gestapo

I’m glad to be living in a country where the problem is guns instead of concentration camps like Dachau and Auschwitz. Six million Jews should have had assault rifles in Germany in 1939. That would have been a good joke on the Gestapo. There probably wouldn’t have been a Gestapo had that been the case.

I once saw on CBS News a report on how the Ethiopian government has what they call “relocation camps.” Those they consider useless are herded into Russian-made transport planes, packed in like sardines. They are confined to these camps where they are given poor food and the place is filthy. The result is they subsequently die of malnutrition and disease.

If we had a deal like that here and they decided to “relocate” me, I would load my World War II British Enfield rifle, which I have crammed as many as 13 rounds into, and tell them, “You’re probably going to kill me with those machine guns, but you’re not getting me on that plane alive!”

Apparently the Ethiopian people have no guns.

I also hear tell that in Ethiopia they’re still burning witches alive. If the police were coming intent on doing that to me, I would tell them, “Come and get me. Shoot me. Do me the favor, but you’re not setting me on fire!”

When liar and gun-controller Bill Clinton was in office, I read a report that said the Clinton administration sold billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to almost every nation on Earth, including countries whose governments murder their citizens. Pure hypocrisy.

— R. Howard Andrews