- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Opinion Letters

Last week on June 7, my absentee neighbor apparently hired a bushwhacker to neaten up his three acres raw land out here in the sticks.

Upon walking up the road same evening, I was greeted with a loud clamor of birdsong, saw the manicured landscape, and realized nests had been destroyed in a couple hours of mindless “spring cleaning.” Indigo buntings, field sparrows, carolina wrens, even a brown thrasher were obviously in a distressed state. A rabbit kept running back and forth across the naked field.

The owner is clueless. The bushwhacker has no idea of the hundreds of living creatures he killed. Another patch of functioning wildlife habitat disappeared with a few sweeps of an inane machine at the most inopportune time. Waiting until July would have at least spared most of the nesting birds.

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Once upon a time our country went into a severe economic depression. It happened when I was just a young boy. My parents as well as many other folk wanted someone to lead us back to prosperity. That was when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president. The year was 1932. He was a rich northern Liberal and a Democrat. At that time the folks in the South from Texas to Virginia were solid Democrats. However, they were Conservative church going family folk. The South was hurt badly by the great depression. They joined Roosevelt's New Deal made up of big city bosses, Unions, and ethnic minorities, to create programs to improve the economy. They were happy that Southerner John Gamer, a Texan, was made Vice President. Everyone sang “Happy Days Are Here Again” when FDR won that election.

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The day that my family and I moved to North Carolina in 2008, I celebrated with glee. I greatly desired to cross the Georgia state line and leave behind the “good ol’ boy network.” I was so discouraged by people being granted special permission, access, permits, jobs, careers, etc. – based on who they were related to, where they were from, etc. I believed that Macon County was more cosmopolitan, and that the composition of the populace was so varied and multi-cultural that I would truly find a melting pot in my new home county. My husband and I became involved in local activities and came to love our new community even more.

Therefore I was thrilled the day I noticed the advertisement for the position of county planner – especially when I noticed that County Commissioner Kevin Corbin mentioned that the search for a new county planner would involve looking for someone with experience and appropriate qualifications.

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The trend is clear. Republicans at all levels want to privatize our public schools. Why would they want to do this, and how is it being done?

A tuition-free basic education for all, publicly accountable and locally run, is a basic American right. Our public school system is the great leveler. Anyone, no matter the circumstances of their birth, may have a shot at the American Dream. To do this, a public school system must accept all who live in its jurisdiction and teach a core curriculum which prepares each student for life in our diverse society.

The very nature of tax funded, “public” schools requires that we must teach all who come including the disabled, minorities, and foreign language students. They can't be run at a profit. They are not businesses. Their purpose is to educate students, not to make money.

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published: 10/18/2013
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