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Talkback: What online readers say about …

… Emilee Hibshman: Why Trump worries my generation

Thank you, Emilee Hibshman, for engaging in your nation’s government process. Clearly you have thought and discussed your future. It is often said that idealism is the concern of the young. I hope you are prepared for the commitment it takes to remain steadfast in the struggle, while at the same time, open to opinions and research from many sides. And, don’t worry, it’s entirely possible to live your ideals. There are plenty of people in your camp! I look forward to hearing from you as you study, and as you reach out beyond your high school relationships.

— Whitney Peckman

Suck it up, snowflake. The real world is gonna eat you alive. By the way, there are no safe spaces when you start working.

— Amos Moses

I’m so proud of this generation. Far from “snowflakes,” I’m seeing well-informed, passionate kids getting ready to take over. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish. Well done, Emilee!

— Jenni Pfaff

Wonderfully written, Emilee. … You are thoughtful, engaged, and ready to take the world by the horns. Don’t let the naysayers take away your spunk. The world needs people like you now more than ever. And there are plenty of us in your corner. You rock on!

— Shelley Palmer

Awesome piece. Stay true to who you are. There are a lot of people in your corner. Fight the good fight.

— Will Martinez

… Five-lane bridge planned at Old Beatty Ford Road I-85 exit

Special thanks to the officials who lobbied for this improvement. Praise is also in order for the Cabarrus-Rowan MPO Chairman, Doug Paris, for shepherding the process through the MPO. A Rowan County native, Doug Paris is an asset to our county’s interest in his position of leadership in that organization.

— Jeff Morris

… Jim Beard: Trump must be held accountable

You put into words exactly how I feel about this new administration. Thank you.

— Billie Cunningham

Until there is some kind of reconciliation for the way Obama was disrespected, mistreated and vilified by the Republicans, I will never forget, forgive or tolerate its re occurrence.

However, I do accept Trump as the president of the United States.

— Reginald Brown

… School board discusses removal of teacher sign-ins

Requiring professionals to punch in and out on a time clock denigrates the term “professional.” It is not a contradiction to expect a specific time to be at work and to leave work yet not have to document your arrival or departure.

— Chuck Hughes

Clocking in and out? Whoa. That is a bit degrading in itself. The policy should still state that staff should be on time as defined by principal and enforced by principal. Not difficult. Allow the principal to track that data how he/she deems necessary.

Interestingly enough, perhaps I should clock in and out every time I sit at home and work on lesson plans, grading papers, developing individualized work based on students’ needs. Do you really want to go there?

Or better yet, the middle and high school staff — do they need to clock in when they are working an athletic event, chaperoning a dance/prom, etc.? Retention might be even more difficult if you really want to expose that data.

— Kim Auten Smyth

How about paying us like professionals, more than every four to six weeks. No one should have to go that long without a paycheck while they are working.

— Jenny Joyce Blume

… Letter: We all have the right to express our opinions

The contention that people take with celebrities expressing their political beliefs is this perception (real or misguided) that they use their celebrity as a “bully pulpit” to express their views in a way that the general public does not have access to.

When Meryl Streep rails against Donald Trump on the Golden Globes, she knows full well she’s turning an awards show into her own personal platform to reach millions. When we plebeians speak, we reach dozens or perhaps hundreds.

Add on to that the perception (fact?) that these celebrities live in a different world by a different set of rules — a “bubble,” if you will, in which their status gives them a level of privilege that we cannot comprehend. No matter their humble roots, their station in life means they receive gift bags filled with goodies worth more than the average person’s yearly salary just for showing up at some awards banquet.

Are these people who are entitled to their opinion? There is no question you are correct on that. And no matter how much I may disagree with those opinions, we must acknowledge that theirs is equally valid to our own. What is not equal, though, is their access to broadcasting those opinions.

— Eric Shock

… In a sign of unity, Livingstone and Catawba students gather for morning prayer walk

My daughter graduated from Catawba College. It is very good that the Catawba College and Livingston College student bodies are promoting unity. I hope this spark of unity will spread throughout our nation’s college and university system.

— Larry Smith

… From Rowan to D.C.: Two different stories for locals at inauguration

A great story! I’m happy that they’re all back home safe and sound and had a rare life experience to share with us. These young people give me hope for a brighter future, better than what we’ve seen on TV recently. Hannah,I pray you keep your desire to learn new things, and Amy, it sounds like you’re a great mom!

— Janet Hodges Keys

To the locals who were able to witness this historic event, I am so happy for you. Little Miss Hannah, you make my heart happy and do give me hope for the young generation that is being brought up. Amy, congratulations; you are doing a wonderful job with the little life that God has entrusted you with.

— Tina Blakely

What a thrilling experience for you both. So glad it was all positive and you got to witness the beginning of a wonderful change for America.

— Julie Blalock

… School board seeks to build bridges at retreat

A number of years ago, Rowan Partners for Education held focus groups with different community groups across the county. They gathered much information. Although that information may no longer be accurate or valid, perhaps that newly re-established group could assist in the facilitation of information-gathering from the community.

— Barbara Sapp Moose

I’m sure this was a slip of the tongue as quoted “they need to feel that we want to hear what they have to say.” This sounds as if the board member wants to simply placate the audience. If you are going to ask parents and community members for input, the board needs to let them “know through respectful communication (which is a two-way street by the way) that they want to hear what they have to say.”

I thank the board members for their service, for it is a tough job, and we must get over this “us-them” mentality. It is past time for more parents and the community at large to get involved.

— Deborah Raper

… David Post: Forcing an apology on Fibrant

Very well stated, Mr. Post. Instead of public transparency on City Council’s part, they are only interested in justifying their gross errors with Fibrant and then the cover-up.

Karen Alexander is asking for the public’s “patience.” I would ask them to acknowledge their mistakes and spend as much energy in finding a solution as they are spending trying to justify their mistakes. Thank goodness you and Mr. Hardin brought this issue to light.

— Cathy Cowan Basinger

Mr. Post is spot on with his assessment of the Fibrant failure. He has avoided accusing the members of the previous council and administration of any criminal actions. I thank him for his excellent stewardship thus far.

— Kenneth Muhammad El

… Big Red: Museum exhibit will celebrate Cheerwine’s 100th anniversary

I have loved Diet Cheerwine for years, even though I sometimes have a difficult time finding it in the bottom left corner of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. When I do, I buy all they have and indulge. Happy 100th to a true classic! I have no doubt this exhibit will be a huge success.

— Kim Jobe

Sounds like a good time.

— Joan Traini

… Elizabeth Cook: Words matter; deeds matter more

As usual, you have nothing to add but your partisan negativity

— Phyllis Lianne

Great article. It reflects the reality of our national situation. The vast difference between CEO and employee wages is a statement of the fact that the average worker is the one being ignored.

— Reginald Brown

A good read. Much of what Trump says can be translated like this: “Job creators have shipped our jobs overseas and refused to pay our middle class the wages they deserve. They have lined their pockets with the wealth of America for too long. It’s time for the 99 percent to get their share of the wealth their labor has produced.”

— Cathy Mahaffey

… Action Agency cuts pay to make up for $1.3 million deficit

Thank you. Teachers’ lives matter.

— Divakema James

I am retired now, but I started my teaching career with Head Start over 20 years ago when my child was 5 years old, and it was a very good program.

I left and came back about four years ago as a substitute teacher and was also doing bus monitor.

These ladies work harder than I ever worked when I had a full-time job with Head Start. Their jobs are not only their jobs, but everybody’s job. Mrs. Dearmon is right about holding a job as a director, nutritionist, bus monitor, teacher, custodian, Family Development Specialist. They fill a lot of positions, and to ask them to take a pay cut is really an  injustice. Besides, if they haven’t hired anyone to fill these positions, where is this money that is for these positions? Can this not be used to pay these girls till Head Start so call gets back on its feet?

— Elizabeth Villalobos

… Kannapolis mayor ‘befuddled’ by opponents of zoning request

Darrell Hinnant needs to resign. His condescension towards the citizens that put him into office is stunning, and Kannapolis, frankly, deserves so much more.

— Andrew Poston

Darrell Hinnant is correct. Some people can not be pleased no matter what is done. I support Mayor Hinnant 100 percent.

— Jerry Sweatt

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