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Talkback: What online readers say about …

Carolina Music Award winner

Darrell Harwood

Darrell Harwood of China Grove recently received the Carolina Music Award for best country male singer. Submitted photo.

… Court ruling will mean changes for Rowan voters

Photo identification is no longer required? Is (North Carolina) setting itself up for voter fraud? You need a photo ID for nearly everything, from driving, to air travel, to assistance applied for via the government offices, to picking up medications and children at school.

Yet our government officials don’t see a need for ID verification when voting?

… What is this country becoming? My head is about to pop off. I’m so tired of people getting free passes because it’s too hard to follow the law.

— Marianna O’Connor

… Editorial: Vacation vs. education

Thanks! It is time for things to happen to benefit the students and teachers. Start early enough to to finish exams before Christmas so that students can start “new” when they come back from Christmas break.

Used to be that way before politicians took money from the travel industry, only to damage education.

— Ralph Walton

This is perhaps the best example of special interest directly impacting our daily lives. Legislation designed to benefit profit rather than researched and well-understood best practices for education should be illegal.

— Cathy Mahaffey

… Shake hands with George: Sculpture honors Washington’s visit to Salisbury

George was a great unifier. Not perfect; like many of our founders, he had his flaws. Still, he did enough things right to jump-start this continued experiment — the United States of America.

For an interesting take on Washington’s personality and challenges, read “Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring” by Alexander Rose. There’s also a wonderful, fictionalized AMC series based on the book called, “Turn: Washington’s Spies.”

— Karen Puckett

Wonderful sculpture by talented artists — can’t wait to visit Salisbury and shake George Washington’s hand.

— George LeRoy

George Washington was a conventional slaveholder who evolved into a lukewarm abolitionist by the time of his death. He made provisions to free the slaves he held at Mount Vernon after his death. He was the only slave-holding Founding Father of our republic to emancipate his chattel.

He said, “I never mean (unless some particular circumstance should compel me to it) to possess another slave by purchase; it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted, by which slavery in this country may be abolished by slow, sure and imperceptible degrees.”—George Washington, September 9, 1786

— Reginald Brown

Spencer receives statewide contingency funding

That’s great, but what are they doing to push McCrory to clean up the coal ash over here? … It’s not safe to cook, drink or even bathe in. You would think that considering he grew up around here that he would put us on the clean-up list. People are getting sick over here!

— Georgia Smith

Coal ash contamination is a communitywide concern, indeed. I would not want to diminish the importance of clean drinking water. But the ash ponds are actually “down-stream” from Spencer’s town limits, so that the town itself is no more directly impacted by their presence than would be the residents of China Grove. Nor would transportation funds be available for the ash pond cleanup.

— Jeff Morris

… Overgrown lawn causes problems for Salisbury citizen

The city is not keeping up its own property. The grass is growing over the sidewalks on Statesville Boulevard. There are places all around Salisbury that need to be mowed and are the city’s responsibility.

— Mary Little

Trust me, it would not be like that if it was on Fulton Street. Treat all of Salisbury like Fulton Street and this problem wouldn’t be a problem.

— John Dunlap Jr.

I live in a rental on South Church, and my wonderful landlord receives letters or calls about vegetation that’s not even overgrown.

— Carol Carpenter

… Letter: Not the right woman for president

I saw her make an interesting comment on CBS News a few days back, when she said that she judged people more on what they actually did instead of what they said they were going to do, when talking about Donald Trump.

The very next segment came from her running mate, Tim Kaine, in which he was defending her record on the email issue during an interview. According to Kaine, she had told him she had learned some big lessons from her mistakes and was going to improve going forward.

But, I thought, we should judge her based on what she has done, right?

Clinton’s accomplishments prove she is out for herself and feels that the rules and laws are guidelines to be tossed aside whenever convenient. We cannot have that sort of person as our president.

— Eric Shock

… Darrell Harwood wins Carolina Music Award

Harwood well deserves that award — always giving to the community, and especially to our kids. You don’t find many that do such as he does for our kiddos, and for that they grow to love him and totally look forward to the concert.

I hope he continues to win and to get the recognition he so deserves. Darrell and Karen and band, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the joy and happiness you bring to our children.

— Melissa Carter

Darrell is such a great entertainer. That smile of his is magical. You just know he is having a good time singing for you. He has quite a fan club and such a wonderful supportive family. My daughter is among his biggest fans. Congratulations!

— Cyndi Osterhus

Darrell so deserved that award. He and his band always treat their fans special.

My son Ryan is such a big Darrell Harwood fan. He was asked last year at school if he could have lunch with any celebrity who would it be? He answered, Darrell Harwood.

When Darrell heard about this, he got in touch with me and said we need to make this happen. Our family went to eat at Gary’s Barbecue. Guess who showed up to surprise Ryan — Darrell and his family.

Ryan jumped up out of his seat and hugged Darrell the minute he saw him. I think at first he was in shock. He would look up at Darrell and smile at different times while we were eating. I have never seen his face turn so red; he was smiling from ear to ear. This is a night he will always remember.

The special concert they have each year for kids and adults with special needs is so wonderful. They really let them be in charge of the show. Throughout the show, they let them get up on stage. Some will sing, play the guitar or dance. Once Ryan gets up there, he said, he feels like he is part of the band. This is because of the way each one of them treats him. You can see that Darrell and each member of his band have as much fun as the ones they are putting on the show for. It touches me every year.

Thank you to Darrell, Karen, Eric, Chip, Chad, Junior and everyone that makes this happen each year. You truly bring so much joy and touch their lives in such a special way.

— Kimberly Sikes

The first time my husband met him about 12 years ago and he sang “Long Black Train” at karaoke, we knew he was going places, and it has been on his time. He is such a good family man, husband and father. He had such great parents to bring him up and it shows. That is what it’s all about. Family first. Great job, Darrell!

— Patti Brown

Thanks so much for running an article on this. Darrell Harwood deserves the recognition. He and his band have put so much work and dedication into their performances. It shows! Congrats, Darrell, I hope it continues with many more awards and lots more shows.

— Kellie Martin

… Kathleen Bergeron: Columnist’s religion argument is dishonest

As a devoted independent for decades, I do not want to enter the political fray. However, professionally as a retired pastor and personally as a direct descendant of John Howland, who came to America on the Mayflower (he was the lad who was “fished out-of-the-sea” after falling over-board!), I want to agree with Ms. Bergeron about religious freedom.

President George Washington guaranteed it when he wrote to the Truro Synagogue in Newport, R.I., in 1790. Also, William Penn made Pennsylvania a place welcoming persons seeking religious freedom. It explains why many sects and denominations are found in the Keystone State. Let us hope —and pray—that we return to our true and more charitable religious roots.

— Gary Hauze

… China Grove now requires dog, cat owners to pick up their pet’s droppings

It’s great that this includes cats. Finall,y a town recognizes that cat feces are a serious problem for citizens, their companion animals, their properties and the environment. Thank you, board members.

— Henry George

Never seen a cat walked on a leash, nor a person clean up after a cat poops.

— Larry Craver

… Bridge replacement planned on Stokes Ferry Road

I would not mind driving three miles either to Highway 52 or Bringle Ferry Road if it would save $1 million to build a replacement bridge and then tear it down.

The reason is that the businesses in this area would not generate that much money in 50-100 years, so it is just common sense not to waste money this way.

There are communities in other areas of North Carolina which had detours of 25-30 miles while their bridges were repaired or replaced.

Forget about the replacement bridge and just start on the new bridge after school ends in June. Hopefully, it would be completed faster this way.

— Eric Vandeford

… Maggie dies in the arms of a friend

Thank you so much for helping this lady and her companion who was suffering. It just takes a little love to touch someone’s heart.

God says where two or more are gathered, there will He be in the midst. Thanks to all who gave.

— Bonnie Beaver

… Letter: Media bias against Trump and for liberals is obvious

Mixed marriages? Are you seriously implying that interracial marriage is some liberal brainwashing scheme? Randy Biggerstaff, I weep for your grandson.

— Greg Hicks

It’s not “liberal bias” to report the sayings and doings of Trump and McCrory. If, in so doing, the news consumer feels negatively towards either or both of them, it’s because they realize that neither Trump or McCrory is for the greater good, but rather for his idea of what the world (country, state) should be like.

I feel so sorry for this man’s grandson. I am reminded of the Rogers and Hammerstein song, “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught” from South Pacific. Even in 1949, there were people who understood that the views held by people like this letter writer were wrong.

— Joanne Stewart

Mr. Biggerstaff, please give some examples of “the brainwashing political correctness being shoved down the throats of children” in kids’ shows.

— Karen Puckett

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