Reader letters, March 8

Mar 06, 2014

GOP control is unfolding as planned

To the editor:

Here are a few tidbits to show that the GOP-controlled government in North Carolina is running just as they anticipated.

Tony Gurley resigned as a Wake County commissioner last Friday to take a position in Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration as head of the Office of State Budget and Management. Gurley will be making $124,915 a year in this newly created position, reporting directly to state budget director Art Pope.

McCrory said in a release, “Tony’s expertise will strengthen our efforts to streamline state government and improve operational efficiency.”

Joe Hauck was paid $310,000 for less than 11 months working as a consultant to state Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos. In December 2013, he returned to his job as an executive at a private company run by Wos’ husband.

Note that Pope and Wos were appointed by Gov. McCrory. Like Wos and her husband, records show Hauck and his wife were strong political supporters of Gov. Pat McCrory, donating $14,750 to his campaign.

Government of the people? Well, sure, for certain people. If this is your idea of efficient government, vote Republican. If not…

Bill Lusto


Thoughts on the Oscars

To the editor:

Let me be clear. I appreciate art, visual and performing. To be in the presence of a live opera, symphony, choral production, or theater performance brings me a profound sense of pleasure and of gratitude for the immense creative power within the human experience.

Film can be a most gratifying and powerful art form. Can be. I have savored the brilliance of great performers: Laurence Olivier, Peter O’toole, Judi Dench, Richard Burton, and the formidable artistry of Meryl Streep.

The list is long, and the contributions of such artists reach the deepest gulfs of our beings.

That brings me to the Academy Awards circus, that gaudy, shallow, inane, shameless exhibit of plasticity that is hyped for months, lasts interminable hours on a Sunday evening, and gets days and days of fawning attention from a media pandering to what it seems to consider the “tastes” of the American public.

Like the interminable Super Bowl, enough money is sewn into the stars’ “fashion” and parties to eradicate the national debt.

Or feed the almost 300 homeless children in Haywood County for the rest of their lives. Excuse me, but is there some reason I should care about how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie “relax” before the Oscar show?

A few days ago, a film critic said in an interview on NPR, “Do the Oscars really mean anything?” His answer was no, and he went on to cite extraordinary films in the past that were given no mention by the Academy, while much lesser work took the prize. Just a matter of opinion.

Renee Mullinax



Don’t be fooled

To the editor:

If you have been led to believe that North Carolina’s General Assembly has been doing a good job, don’t let anyone try to sell you mining stocks or shares in a bridge at Brooklyn.

North Carolina’s teachers and school board members certainly don’t think so. Neither does anyone concerned for the environment.

Most people’s taxes are going up so that a handful of wealthy people can pay less.

And they’ve cooked up so many new roadblocks to voting that they figure you might not even try.

Such a legislature deserves to be purged.

But guess what? When filing closed last week, nearly one-third of the members were returned without opposition.

That’s 12 of the 50 senators — eight Republicans and four Democrats. Among the 120 House members, 43 are unopposed — 22 Republicans and 21 Democrats.

What’s worse, overall there are so few two-party races in November that party control is already decided in 80 of the 170 districts — nearly half.

However the people vote, it will scarcely make a difference.

That’s not democracy. It’s dictatorship.

It’s the intended result of the gerrymandering that the Republican majority perpetrated last year.

Democrats have their own sorry history in that regard. So there has been bipartisan support for legislation to put the map drawing in the hands of a professional staff. Iowa does this with great success.

But despite having 57 House co-signers last year, it didn’t even get a committee hearing and remained unseen in the Senate once again.

Rep. Joe Sam Queen was a co-sponsor. Michele Presnell, Haywood’s other representative, was not. She owes her seat to that gerrymandering.

Both have opponents. So does Sen. Jim Davis.

If you favor unrigged districting, you’ll want to know what the candidates think about it. And you’ll want to vote accordingly.

Martin A. Dyckman



Sponsor a spelling bee team

To the editor:

In today’s economy, many families look to outside sources for assistance.

Haywood COunty is well served by both faith-based organizations and civic groups.

While faith-based organizations look to the public for donations and also have fund-raisers, civic groups depend solely on their fund-raising efforts to support their assistance projects.

On the fourth of April,the Kiwanis Club of Waynesville is holding the second annual adult spelling bee at the First United Methodist Church in Waynesville.

Businesses and other organizaitons are sponsoring spelling teams of three adults. If you would like to sponsor a team or be on a spelling team, please contact George Dixon at 452-3573 or Marti Peithman at 926-3678. Come and have fun while doing good.

Also is your organization works with children, now is the time to ask for an application for one of the Kiwanis grants.

Jim Hoyt