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FROM A CANDIDATE

I would like to respond to my opponent’s stance against the 65 percent solution — or as I call it, “65 cents on the dollar”. In her YES! Weekly candidate profile, Maggie Jeffus stated she does not support this legislation to ensure more of our education dollars are spent in the classroom and stated she feels it ties the hands of local school boards.

It does not. What it will do is mandate that 65 cents of every education dollar be spent in the classroom. It will ensure accountability — something we have too little of in Raleigh and in the education bureaucracy. The current lack of accountability in education spending continues to serve the education establishment better than the children.

Different counties will have the option of putting the money into the programs it best feels will benefit the students. Guilford County may decide to give bonus pay to high-performing teachers, or they may decide to purchase more textbooks. A teacher in High Point told me that not only do they not have enough textbooks, but she has to pay for paper and copies to make up for the lack of books out of her own pocket.

Another county might use the money to replace music and arts programs which have been cancelled in recent years. And another county might decide to institute an afterschool program to help struggling readers.

The two things on which it will not be spent are bureaucrats or administration. And yet my opponent stands against it. Her solution: We give them the pot of money and they decide how to spend it. That is unacceptable to me, and it should be unacceptable to every taxpayer.

Education spending is more than 50 percent of the annual state budget. This legislation will not only require more accountability in how your education dollars are spent, but it will also put more dollars in the classroom, where they are needed, without raising your taxes. Although raising taxes is something my opponent never seems to have a problem doing.

Theresa Yon, Greensboro Thersa Yon is running for NC House in District 59 against incumbent Rep. Maggie Jeffus.’­

BULLY BRIGADE

I am sick and tired of hearing about children being harassed, beaten up or driven to suicide because of bullies. We adults need to work together to eliminate bullying, hazing and corporal punishment from our state. Being bullied should not be a part of growing up.

Chuck Mann, Greensboro

BRIDGING THE GAP

There are many reasons why we have not been able to get across this division here in Greensboro. There are those who do not want us to come together as a community. They are always causing trouble somehow, whether it’s through the media or calling their own personal news conferences, hollering out racism in one form or the other.

This is not the city I grew up in and have loved for the past 54 years of my life. Perhaps it has a lot to do with the influx of citizens from other parts of the country and/or there could be some type of communication problems, which could readily be solved by communicating better. I am only writing this because I am a concerned citizen who truly loves this city,and wants to see everyone who lives here get along together.

There are some people who have to be the center of attention in order to gain attention. I do not know, but I do know that my city has become divided in ways that I never though I would experience in my lifetime. Maybe those of us who have lived here our entire lives do not understand their way of living and maybe they do not understand our way of living. The only way we can understand one another is to socialize with one another and get to know one another as people.

I personally welcome each and every one who has moved here from other parts of the country as well as those from foreign countries. It is truly time to put the past behind us and think about the future so we all can make this wonderful city where the vast majority of people are nice caring and loving people. We are the type of people who would come to anyone’s aid who was truly in distress. It is just our southern nature to do those types of things for people.

Steven M. Shelton, Greensboro

UP-CHUCK-ED

First I would like to say I really enjoy reading the articles in the YES! Weekly, but this week’s article that Chuck Norris wrote really got on my nerves so to speak [“Even HIllary agrees!”; Sept. 15, 2010]. I am not an Obama lover so it’s not because of that, it’s because of the half-truths that are portrayed in it, because in actuallity no president, Bush included, is responsible for the present-day financial situation if truth be told.

I would be very elated if you did an article about the backstory of our present-day predicament, mainly what happened on March 9, 1933 and June 5, 1933 during the Roosevelt administration. When the budget is balanced, its not balanced — it’s impossible. We are in a new generation now, and some of the lies of the past must be done away with if we are truly going to be the country we are supposed to be.

I truly fear for my country at this moment, and the check the press once had on government is no longer what it used to be. So I hope this publication will carry the torch in this new day.

And another article I would love to read is what ever happended to “spoils of war”? We won in Iraq (so they say) and there’s no spoils of war? Even Hitler shared the spoils of war. Something to think about.

Sean Timmons, Winston-Salem

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RIVERSIDE

Keith, your Alcoa reports in YES! Weekly are getting more and more helpful! Tell Jordon Green hello for me.

I moved a year ago from Greensboro to a simple farm house five miles from Badin Lake. In Greensboro I was active with environmental issues and served as the chair of the Guilford County Open Space Committee. No doubt the aluminum-smelting operation starting around 1918 did not follow environmental guidelines that gradually emerged in the 1970’s. Alcoa probably continued to add to the problems of environmental pollution until their plant closed a couple of years ago.

The making of aluminum is a toxic process and requires massive amounts of electricity. Alcoa, with proper oversight by NCDENR and the EPA, should be required to do all the necessary clean-up. Alcoa has the money to do the necessary clean-up. Also other major polluters are far upstream from Alcoa’s Badin location and will prove to be significantly responsible for pollution in the Yadkin.

Vajda’s reporting on the relicensing process was misdirected. She focused on disease from working in the now-closed Alcoa plant and focused on the pollution caused by Alcoa. Both are important issues and need to be addressed — but the central issue of the relicensing of the dams is who owns the water and who should benefit from the use of the water in the Yadkin and eventually all the rivers in NC.

Gov. Perdue’s main interest in the dams is to help clarify the many questions of water rights in NC. The battle about water rights in all of NC is just beginning as we move into a time when water may become more valuable than oil. The major drought a few years back made waterrights issues more pressing than ever. We should ask if a major corporation like Alcoa, Progress Energy or Duke Energy should use the water in the rivers of NC without paying for it.

Several environmental groups including the Land Trust for Central NC supported the relicensing for Alcoa because Bill Ross, the former head of DENAR who is an environmentalist himself, and others negotiated in 2007 an important agreement with Alcoa (if relicensing is approved) to gift 1,085 acres to Morrow Mt. State Park that includes all the land along the beautiful Falls Reservoir across from the Uwharrie National Forest that wraps around to the historic, Paleo-Indian Hardaway site overlooking Badin Lake. (A museum about the historic Hardaway site could prove to be a major tourist draw for Badin, Morrow Mt. State Park and the Uwharrie area.)

Also Alcoa agreed to gift another 4,812 acres of land around Tuckertown Lake and High Rock Lake for NC Gamelands and public recreation. Alcoa has shown some flexibility and needs to show more. Alcoa should under strict EPA and DENAR supervision clean up all of their dump sites. Alcoa should pay a percentage of the profits they make on electricity to the counties in the region because Alcoa does not own the waters of the Yadkin River. Also a 25 year license would be far better than 50 years. But some compromises need to start emerging from both sides of this costly battle. Better information and reporting on the central issue of water rights in NC is needed.

John D. Young, Triad

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