Remembering 9/11 :: September 11, 2001

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link:

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Opinion Letters

If you read the information Duke Energy is spreading throughout the news media in its vast public relations campaign, you’d be led to believe the request for a 15 percent rate increase (17 percent for residential ratepayers) is a result of meeting new environmental regulations, especially in building the new “state-of-the-art” coal unit at Cliffside.

This is a distortion of reality that should be understood by all public officials, news outlets and members of the ratepaying public. I commend the Macon County Commissioners and the Franklin Board of Alderman for being the first public officials to take a stand against this round of rate hikes. Hopefully others will follow in short order.


The patronage politics of roads, money, power, and ethics in North Carolina is a strange creature. Individual NCDOT board commissioners may not receive direct compensation (nor anyone related to them to the first degree) for a road building project in their districts; yet that is not the whole story.

Every four years the DOT commissioners are re-appointed (or not) to their districts by the governor. Often, these re-appointed commissioners have given thousands of dollars to gubernatorial candidates’ campaigns. These DOT commissioners have given money, not necessarily out of their own pockets but through many $100, $200, and $300 contributions that the individual commissioner receives from other constituents (private citizens, paving companies, architectural firms, etc.). This is called “bundling.”


It is inconceivable that Duke Energy would apply for a 17 percent residential rate increase when its top executives are taking home total compensation packages in the millions of dollars while customers are struggling to pay their bills, including their electric bills.

Duke Energy’s CEO Jim Rogers total pay package increased 29 percent in 2010 to $8.8 million according to the Associated Press.


With the clear understanding that I am not a fan of Jim Davis, a letter to Macon County News June 30th was a bit disingenuous of the good senator. In referencing the “disintegration” of the American family over the past several decades as an “impediment to public education,” Davis was quite correct. Many changes have taken place in America the past four or five decades, numerous ones have had a negative and profound impact on education.

I was a child of the generation which survived the depression years and World Wars I and II. My parents’ generation was one that had learned to make do with what they had and what they didn't have was not necessarily considered poverty and most certainly not a reason to shirk parental responsibilities.


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