SUNDAY, AUGUST 30, 2009
2,000 attend health care meeting Small but vocal protests at congresswoman’s Q&A
BY JASON deBRUYN
email@example.com WEDDINGTON More than 2,000 people packed Weddington High School to voice their op-
Mavericks roll over Hickory Ridge, 31-6, with three touchdowns by K.C. Brent. See 11
Scores rise Average SAT score rises 5 points in Union; Marvin Ridge, Weddington, Parkwood post top averages. See 2
Protesters were an apparent minority of the 2,000 people who attended a town hall meeting about health care on Tuesday night. Ed Cottingham / Waxhaw Exchange
Gridlock busters? firstname.lastname@example.org
County Monroe rejects Union County’s offer to give up 6 acres of BelkTonawanda Park in exchange for promise of parking spaces. See 10
Index Classified Editorial Letters Local news Movies Obituaries Schools Sports
13 4 5 3 6 9 2 11
The Waxhaw Exchange is published by: The Enquirer-Journal P.O. Box 5040 Monroe, NC 28110 Advertising: (704) 261-2251 Delivery: (704) 261-2215 News: (704) 261-2223
WAXHAW Western Union County has banded together for road planning. After almost a year of work, planning firm Martin/Alexiou/Bryson, along with four western towns, developed a Local Area Regional Transportation Plan, or LARTP, for western Union County. Waxhaw and Marvin have already adopted the plan and Weddington and Wesley Chapel are expected to do so at their next meetings. Waxhaw Mayor Daune Gardner, the town’s representative, said she was happy with how the project was approached. “In essence, we all agreed in terms of moving people, not just moving cars,” she said. Planners designed LARTP to get the attention of the
Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., spoke briefly Tuesday before fielding comments about health care reform. done.” The point of contention, she said, is how.
Western Union’s towns join forces to compete for DOT priority funding BY JASON deBRUYN
Day of Caring attracts 930 volunteers to pitch in on community projects at schools, private homes. See 8
position to a governmentrun health care system. Rep. Sue Myrick, RN.C., hosted a town hall at Weddington High School Tuesday night and fielded questions almost exclusively on the proposed overhaul of the U.S. health insurance business. “We all agree that we need to solve a problem,” Myrick told the crowd. “Something needs to be
N.C. Department of Transportation and the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organizations, two bodies that make most of the road decisions in and around Union County. Western towns, particularly Mineral Springs, have long contended that developers and Mecklenburg county leaders hold the most sway over the state’s spending on roads. Mineral Springs Mayor Rick Becker has vocally opposed the current pattern of spending, which makes the town’s absence from the LARTP coalition particularly noticeable. Although it was asked to join, the Town Council’s distrust of the NCDOT played a major role in turning down the offer.
ROADS / 3
Waxhaw Mayor Daune Gardner says the Local Area Regional Transportation Plan funded by western Union County towns is based on agreement ‘in terms of moving people, not just moving cars.’
On the fence
Mineral Springs leaders declined to participate in LARTP, citing expense and experiences with DOT that have made town leaders ‘cynical,’ Mayor Rick Becker said. Town leaders have criticized NCDOT for being too influenced by businesses rather than local needs and use.
Nancy Anderson said a fourth term as mayor of Weddington will focus on roads and fire services.
member Robert Gilmartin and former Union County commissioner Hughie Sexton. She’s
in for another fight this year, as three challengers, including Sexton, try to unseat her. Her detractors’ complaints echo across the board: She isn’t conservative enough with town money, especially when it comes to community and park development. Her term has been littered with contentious clashes with the Town Council. She owns land
How to build a school in Nepal BY TIFFANY LANE
that’s too close to a proposed connector road she’s lobbied for with state officials. Anderson hears them all and maintains her vision for a proactive town that engages a commercial base, maintains its rural charm and fuses a downtown at the center. “We need to be fo-
ANDERSON / 10
Q&A / 6
On the ‘net • www.lartp.org Full text of the Local Area Regional Transportation Plan • www.mumpo. org Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization site, including list of road projects and priorities.
Weddington mayor says she has ‘unfinished business’ email@example.com WEDDINGTON In parts of Union County, one-term politicians tend to be the lay of the land. Not so for Weddington Mayor Nancy Anderson, who with this fall’s election is seeking her fourth term at the helm. Won the 2007 elections handily, facing off against fellow council
MYRICK / 7
MONROE Jeff Gaura has led in the building of two Nepali boarding schools, one mango tree and donkey load of cement at a time. He has a third on the way. A New York native, Gaura lives in New Salem and heads an 18-person network consulting Jeff Gaura c o m p a n y. divides his He and his time wife have between two sons, Union County ages 8 and and school 18. building Before projects in the wife Nepal. and kids, Gaura was a Peace Corps volunteer in Dang Valley, Nepal, from 1987 to 1989, working as a math and science teacher, and later, a community developer. Now fluent in Nepali, he keeps in contact with people there and said the No. 1 need is schools. More than half of the students there drop out by seventh grade, he said, contributing to making Nepal one of poorest, least literate countries in the world. The first two schools, Saudiyar Middle and Sucrawar Elementary, were built in less than a year. The elementary school was completed this spring.
A fourth term for Anderson? By billy ball
Myrick spoke briefly about her ideas for health care before turning over the floor to the crowd, which at times had as many as 40 people standing in line to speak. There was a smattering of opposition to Myrick’s conservative record and health care proposals.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Average SAT score is 1029 in Union County Marvin Ridge, Weddington, Parkwood post highest average scores for college entrance test By Tiffany Lane
firstname.lastname@example.org Monroe Union County Public Schoolsâ€™ SAT scores outrank the state and nation for the fourth year in a row. School officials said higher student participation in Advanced Placement and honors courses have a lot to do with it. â€œItâ€™s the level of intensityâ€? coupled with a focus on critical thinking, Forest Hills High School principal Wanda Little said. Forest Hillsâ€™ average SAT score went up nine points from last year â€” the same time that three new AP classes were introduced. This yearâ€™s curriculum includes three more AP options, including AP world history, psychology and art. Countywide SAT scores released Tuesday show an average combined math and critical reading, or
The following are average combined math and critical reading scores for each high school. The highest combined score is a 1600. Central Academy of Technology and Arts and Marvin Ridge, as newer schools, did not have SAT scores for 2007-2008. â€˜07-08 â€˜08-09 CATA n/a 993 Forest Hills 959 968 Marvin Ridge n/a 1091 Monroe 898 936 Parkwood 1030 1020 Piedmont 1008 1009 Porter Ridge 1018 1001 Sun Valley 1014 1006 Weddington 1071 1074 Source: Union County Public Schools
verbal, score of 1,029, up five points from last year. The average state score was 1,006; it was 1,016 na-
tionwide. Monroe High School had the biggest jump from last year, up 38 points to an average score of 936. â€œWe have a very strong faculty,â€? Monroe principal Doreen Dotalo said; teachers hold students to high standards and know how to reach a certain â€œprofile.â€? Among last yearâ€™s 131 seniors, Dotalo said there was exceptional talent in both academics and the arts. The senior class racked up 601 college applications â€” almost five apiece â€” and earned more than $3 million in scholarships. How will they top it? â€œWeâ€™re going to work even harder,â€? Dotalo said, adding that the school constantly promotes online SAT preparation and after-school practice sessions. This â€œtakes away the fear of testing,â€? she said, and the more stu-
dents practice that kind of test, the better they will get. Of nine county high schools, four went up in SAT scores, three went down and two had SAT scores for the first time. Superintendent Ed Davis said comparing them wouldnâ€™t be â€œapples to applesâ€? because all vary in student population and demographics. Carolyn White, UCPS director of student testing, said students from all schools are encouraged to take advanced courses if their teachers or guidance counselors think they are cut out for it. Sometimes students are â€œGPA driven,â€? Davis said, and donâ€™t want to take harder classes, but they also need to challenge themselves. Their GPA might not be as high with a â€œBâ€? as an â€œA,â€? but they will get a more in-depth
education with advanced courses. Early preparation for the SAT could also yield higher scores, he said, opening doors for students to attend the college of choice. Having that practice also bumps up their confidence for the SAT, he said, making the test â€œless daunting.â€? Students generally take a preliminary SAT their junior year of high school. Those who do exceptionally well have a chance at National Merit scholarships â€” another incentive to practice, White said. Taking AP and honors classes could also cut down on college expenses, she added. Many advanced classes transfer to college credit, requiring less money for tuition. Of 2,170 UCPS seniors last year, nearly 64 percent of them took the SAT.
That number is slightly above state figures and almost 18 percent higher than national figures. Many are enrolled in advanced classes. â€œOver time, more North Carolina students have decided to take the SAT and AP courses,â€? state Superintendent June Atkinson said in a press release. â€œThis increase offers proof that more young people see education as the key to their future success.â€? The SAT also includes a writing portion introduced in 2006. The average writing score statewide was 480 and has remained about the same since the portion was added. â€œThe College Board obviously feels writing is important, and so do we,â€? White said. Still, she said the writing portion doesnâ€™t yet count toward scores.
UCPS menus Elementary
Monday: Cheeseburger on a bun, hot dog on a bun, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, chips, pear halves, fruit Tuesday: Chicken nuggets with honey mustard sauce, tuna salad on pita bread, potato smiles, caesar salad, peach cups, fruit, muffin Wednesday: Cheese stix dippers, turkey tetrazzini, quick baked potatoes, green beans, salad, watermelon, fruit, yeast roll Thursday: Taco salad, pork chopper on whole wheat bun, potato smiles, steamed broccoli, tropical fruit, fruit Friday: Cheese pizza, turkey deluxe on hearty roll, potato bites, fruited spinach, salad, pear halves, fruit
Monday: Cheeseburger on a bun, hot dog on a bun, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, chips, pear halves, fruit Tuesday: Chicken nuggets with
honey mustard sauce, tuna salad on pita bread, potato smiles, prince Edward blend, caesar salad, peach cups, fruit, muffin Wednesday: Cheese stix dippers, turkey tetrazzini, quick baked potatoes, green beans, salad, watermelon, fruit, yeast roll Thursday: Taco salad, pork chopper on whole wheat bun, potato smiles, steamed broccoli, pasta salad, tropical fruit, fruit Friday: Cheese pizza, turkey deluxe on hearty roll, potato bites, capri blend, fruited spinach, salad, pear halves, fruit
Monday: Macaroni and cheese with ham, chef salad, baked potato, steamed broccoli, spinach salad, tropical fruit, fruit, muffin, saltine crackers Tuesday: Pepperoni pizza, pork chopper on whole wheat bun,
capri blend, barbecued beans, salad, cantaloupe chunks, fruit Wednesday: Spaghetti and meat sauce, yogurt cup, turkey on whole wheat bread, oven roasted potatoes, California blend, caesar salad, watermelon, fruit, french bread Thursday: Oven fried chicken, veggie sub on a hearty bun, mashed potatoes with gravy, steamed cabbage, cucumber/ tomato salad, pear halves, fruit, cornbread Friday: Taco salad, hot dog on a bun, potato smiles, green beans, coleslaw, peach cup, fruit
Monday: Fresh apple, milk Tuesday: Scooby doo, milk Wednesday: Cheetos/baked, juice Thursday: Assorted breakfast, cereals, milk Friday: Pretzels, juice
Donâ€™t put off repairs or replacements, we can help! Locally owned & operated. â€œYour Comfort Matters, Call Us Todayâ€?
421 E. Old Hwy. 74, Monroe www.jerrysmechanical.com
4(% !2%!3 .%7%34 30/243 "!2 =9LMJAF?
Please visit our website, to take the survey go to
Serving All Your Familyâ€™s Dental Needs
s v SCREEN PLUS MORE ($46S WITH !,, SPORTS PACKAGES s 4UESDAYS s 4HIRSY 4HURSDAYS s 7INE .IGHT &RIDAY s 5PPER BALCONIES OVER )#% 2).+3 TO WATCH SKATING EVENTS s .ON SMOKING s $ARTS POOL TABLES s ,IVE MUSIC
The purpose of this survey is to see if the citizens of Union County, North Carolina would be interested in purchasing craft (specialty) regular beers & wines for off premise or on premise consumption. Craft (specialty) regular beers & wines are beverage products that are growing at a significant market rate that are made by domestic and foreign micro-breweries and wineries.
h-E ET ME BETWEEN T
E E H HE S
h)TS ! 2INK 4HINGv
,OCATED INSIDE %XTREME )CE #ENTER
)NDIAN 4RAIL &AIRVIEW 2D s )NDIAN 4RAIL .# #ONTACT TOGIEG XICENTERCOM FOR UPCOMING EVENTS
marshville family dentistry General, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry
W. Randall Cline, D.D.S. & Associates
6604 E. Marshville Blvd. â€˘ Marshville, NC 28103
Office Hours Tuesday through Friday 8am-5pm
Phone: (704) 624-6300
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Builder plans senior apartments in Waxhaw If approved, 94-unit apartment complex will break ground on 15-acre plot in downtown BY TIFFANY LANE
WAXHAW Developers in western Union County are joining the crowd of builders catering to older adults. In Waxhaw, plans for a senior-friendly apartment complex are awaiting approval by the Union County Board of Commissioners and Planning Board. The complex
would be part of a mixeduse town center and include offices, shops and restaurants. Commercial real estate agent Bill Reule Sr., along with Blue Ribbon Realty, recently sold 15 acres in downtown Waxhaw to Bransen Patch and Associates Inc. with the idea of introducing a new kind of rental housing in Waxhaw.
MONROE All branches of the Union County Public Library will be closed Saturday through Sept. 7 for Labor Day.
Goldmine Road closed for month
MONROE The city of Monroe is in the process of expanding the Charlotte‐Monroe Executive Airport. One component of this project is the relocation of Goldmine Road between Price Shortcut Road and Corporate Center Drive. A detour is scheduled to be in effect from Sept. 8 through Sept. 30. It will take westbound motorists on Rocky River Road, Weddington Road and Jim Parker Road back to Goldmine, and vice versa for eastbound motorists.
Extension offers soil testing class
MONROE Union County Extension will host a free series of seminars to get started with the most basic element of gardening: soil. Extension will offer “Gardener’s Guide To Soil Testing,” at 7 p.m. Thursday. Learn the how’s and why’s to proper soil testing. This is the chance for everyone to come and learn the proper way to take samples and know where to send them for the most professional analysis available in this state. They will also learn how to interpret the results provided by N.C. State and actions they may need to take to improve the soil for what they intend to grow.
Wide doors and hallways, lever-style hardware for doors and medical emergency alarms would be available throughout the complex. Teachers at the new Cuthbertson Middle and High schools might also take advantage of renting, he said. Preliminary prices range from $771 per month for one bedroom and one bathroom
to $1,100 per month for three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Bransen Patch said in a press release that the community would preserve “the charming, historic character of Waxhaw” while also expanding it by providing nearby “entertainment, restaurants, shopping and recreation.” Developers are plan-
ning traditional architecture, a public park, bikefriendly streets, period lighting and outdoor dining. Will the project create more congestion for Waxhaw? Reule said the town’s growth won’t stop. “Don’t tell me you’re going to control growth,” Reule said. “Tell me you’re going to plan good projects.”
Kissell asked to support airport
Local Briefs Libraries to close Labor Day weekend
If approved, the threestory apartment complex will have 94 units; Reule hopes the bottom two levels would attract seniors who “are not ready” to go into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Reule, 69, said he doesn’t mind being a senior citizen, but doesn’t want to have his options limited because of age. “I’m still active,” he said.
Donations received will be used for horticultural programs in Union County. Registration is encouraged. The seminar will be conducted at The Union County Ag Center, 3230-D Presson Road, Monroe. To register, call the Union County Extension Master Gardener Growline at 704-283-3822 or email email@example.com. nc.us.
Wesley Chapel sets meetings dates
WESLEY CHAPEL Wesley Chapel will have the following municipal meetings through the end of September. All meetings begin at 7 p.m. The following meetings will be at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, 120 Potter Road: • Sept. 14, Village Council meeting, public hearing on amendment to zoning ordinance for conditional use permits. • Sept. 22, Village Council. • Sept. 28, Planning Board. The following meetings will be at the town office, 4107 New Town Road: • Monday, Downtown Committee. • Wednesday, Ordinance Review Committee. • Sept. 16, Ordinance Review Committee. • Sept. 21, Parks & Rec Committee. • Sept. 21, Board of Adjustment. The village has all public meetings in accessible rooms. Any individual with a disability who needs an interpreter or other auxiliary aids or services for a meeting should call 704-243-7391 at least 48 hours before the scheduled meeting.
Editor’s note: Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C., represents the 8th Congresional District. We will print a Q&A with him about helath care in next week’s edition.
Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C., visited Hospice of Union County on Thursday.
BY JASON deBRUYN
firstname.lastname@example.org MONROE Monroe had the ear of Rep. Larry Kissell, DN.C., for the day. Before hosting a town hall meeting in Wades-
boro, the representative for the 8th Congressional District made stops in its southwestern-most city to meet with the City Council, the business community and hospice.
At each stop he fielded questions and heard requests from constituents. “It’s good to meet with him to keep your name out in front so to speak,” Monroe Mayor Bobby Kilgore said. Councilmembers thanked Kissell for securing funds and grants, especially for the police department, and requested specifically for him to help with the airport expansion, if possible. “We consider that our
crown jewel,” Kilgore told Kissell. Councilman P.E. Bazemore asked Kissell to fund programs that target at-risk children before they reach school age. “If we don’t get to them before they get to kindergarten, they aren’t going to make it,” Bazemore said. “I agree,” said Kissell, a former teacher. “We need to get them engaged and get them involved.”
Weddington, Wesley Chapel reviewing Roads from 1 The Town Council has been unabashed in saying that the NCDOT is influenced more by developers with deep pockets and well-connected Chamber of Commerce members than the overall good of Union County. “That was the cynical approach of my council that I certainly didn’t disagree with,” Mayor Rick Becker said. Also, being that Mineral Springs has the smallest budget of the western towns, the cost would have weighed more heavily on it than the others. “I think the council made the right decision in not spending the money,” Becker said, but was quick to add that he is not against the plan itself and actually thought it came out well. “Our needs are too far in the future to be a good fit,” he added. Mineral Springs does
not yet have the traffic congestion like on Providence or Weddington roads, and Becker said that by time that type of congestion comes to the southern town that splits Waxhaw Highway, its needs will likely have changed. But LARTP senior project manager Than Austin said if western towns collaborate and present their plan in a unified voice, there is a better chance they will be heard by decision makers. Austin and the planning firm helped mainly on technical aspects of the plan like traffic projections or how intersec-
tion or road improvements would have the greatest effectiveness. Town representatives made most of the longrange or philosophical decisions. Overall, the plan should “promote connectivity and take some of the pressure off the major roadways,” Austin said. Once the LARTP is adopted, Martin/Alexiou/ Bryson will back out entirely and leave the plan to the towns to implement. Gardner said there might be some tinkering necessary, especially as it relates to bicycle and pedestrian traffic, but is excited to put the plan in
action. “It helps us understand what our neighbors’ values are,” she said. “And how their philosophies and planning would impact the rest of us.” Gardner said she is not exactly clear how fast the LARTP will take shape • it plans out to 2030 • but was pleased with where it is right now. “This is new progress,” she said. “This has raised the bar from where we have been before. How we get to the next stage, we’ll have to figure that out.” • Jason deBruyn can be reached at 704-261-2243 or email@example.com.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The Waxhaw Exchange
"The public interest is best served by the free exchange of ideas." — U.S. District Court Judge John Kane
A right or be right? H
ealth care is not a human right. It’s not in the Constitution, either. It doesn’t even make the Bible (although I wouldn’t mind it if Blue Cross/Blue Shield added a Lazarus-come-forth clause to my policy). Nor should health care be a right, the sort of thing over which we go to war with our own government. Viagara — or even insulin — isn’t the same as free speech, or the right to assemble, or the right to bear arms against an oppressive regime. But government isn’t exclusively in the rightsenforcement business. (Rights, actually, are generally disruptive to government. The most efficient governments in history were the ones in which power and privilege (also known as “rights”) were concentrated in a very few, very carefully selected hands. OK, OK, I digress.) Nope, government isn’t just in the rights-enforcement business, and health care isn’t a right, anyway. But government is in the road-building business and roads — built with communal money, used by everyone, owned by the state — are a gateway drug to socialism. So are farm subsidies. There is no Constitutional provision that says we should be able to buy corn products — or wheat, flour, sugar, or milk — at reasonable rates even in years when the harvest is bad. Like it or not, our government has always been in the basic business of every government, which is gathering our communal resources and redistributing them in ways that provide for the common good. So: Health care isn’t a right, and public health care isn’t any more socialist than a lot of other things we do as a nation. Glad we settled that. I should disclose something important here: I grew up with the benefits of governmentfunded health care. As the daughter of a Marine, all of my medical care up to age 21 was funded by taxes. It was good care, and my parents still enjoy the benefits of the government-run and -funded medical network. Even more disclosure: They are concerned that a public health care option means that veterans’ care and their medical benefit will go away and be replaced by an inferior public system that doesn’t account for the specialized health problems experienced by the military. My parents don’t think they have a right to health care, but they do think its something that they worked hard to earn.
Betsy O’Donovan Ink by the Barrel
This health care debate isn’t about the violation of a fundamental American right. But ... if it’s not about a right, maybe it’s about something that’s more important and much harder to pin down. Maybe it’s about what is right. And perhaps that’s why we find ourselves at such an impasse. One one side of this argument are people who are afraid that they will need health care and won’t have it because they are too poor to afford it because a. insurance and pharmaceutical companies are expensive, and b. have created a maze of regulations that mean almost no one can qualify for the treatments they need, so c. only people who can pay out of pocket for treatment can get great care. And on the other side of this argument are people who are afraid that they will need health care and won’t have it because a. they are too poor to afford it, because b. the government has raised taxes to pay for a massive health care plan with regulations that mean almost no one can qualify for the treatments they need, and c. only people who can pay for private insurance can get great care. Is it right to force a greater tax burden on people who are happy with the health care they can presently afford? Is it right to live in one of the wealthiest nations in the history of the world, surrounded by people who can’t afford or access medical treatment? Which bothers you more? — Betsy O’Donovan can be reached at 704-261-2223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letters to the editor should be no more than 200 words; longer letters may be edited to fit. Photographs and editorial cartoons are also welcome. Writers should include their full names and towns of residence. Send letters to bodonovan@theej. com, mail to P.O. Box 5040, Monroe, NC 28111or fax 704-289-2929. Call 704-261-2223 with questions.
A report card for the beginning of the year O
n behalf of all members of the Union County Board of Education, I want to welcome everyone to the 2009-2010 school year. The school board is very excited to begin a new year that holds the promise of being the best one ever based upon the successes of this past year. The 2008-09 school year was a memorable year to say the least. It was memorable for many positive reasons and for some not so positive reasons. We began working on the budget for the 2009-2010 school year last December and completed it in mid-August. It was a long and arduous journey to secure adequate funds to meet the needs of our schools and students. Due to budget reversions and cuts, positions, programs and operating dollars were lost, requiring a lot of re-
Dean Arp Guest columnist
shuffling of duties and responsibilities from the top level of administration to the school custodial level. Through all of this, endless efforts were made to preserve classroom teachers and resources. Our goal to provide quality instruction for all children in safe, clean buildings remained constant. On a more positive note, the 2008-09 school year was memorable for all of the successes that were realized. UCPS ranked number one
among the eight largest school systems in the state with the percentage of schools making the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Adequate Yearly Progress having 40 of its 49 schools, or 81.6 percent, achieving 100 percent of the target goals set by NCLB. UCPS had 15 of its schools or 31.9 percent make the top designation of Honor School of Excellence on the state ABCs tests. This is incredible considering that of the 2,467 North Carolina public schools, only 121 or 4.9 percent, earned this top designation. UCPS also improved its graduation rate from 77.2 to 80.7 percent last year. The 2009 graduating seniors out paced the state and nation on SAT scores. The combined math and verbal score for UCPS was 1029, up five points from last year. North Caro-
lina seniors scored 1006 and national scores were 1016. These outstanding scores come on top of the recent news that the 2009 UCPS graduates were awarded a record-breaking $51.1 million in scholarships. Our personnel also shined last year. Porter Ridge High School teacher, Jessica Garner was named the 2009-2010 North Carolina Teacher of the Year and our Superintendent, Dr. Ed Davis was named the Southwest Regional Superintendent of the Year. Piedmont High School art teacher Susan Helms was named the national 2009 Special Needs Art Educator of the Year and Luan Ingram, UCPS Chief Communications Officer, was named the 2009 top school public relations professional in the state. UCPS has expanded its posi-
tive sphere of influence on the state and national levels and has gained the respect and envy of others. All of these outstanding accomplishments are the result of the combined efforts of hard-working and dedicated school board members, central services personnel, school administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents and community members. It is a privilege and honor to serve as the governing body of such a distinguished and accomplished school district. The Union County Board of Education wishes everyone a successful 2009-2010 school year and pledges to continue to work and support our mission of “Preparing All Students to Succeed.” — Dean Arp is chairman of the Union County Board of Education.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
War or health care
I am a 76 year old US Army overseas veteran, a.retired high school administrator, and insured with Medicare Advantage PFSS BCBS and a supporting supplement from BCBS. Having health insurance has been a part of my life since I left the US Army in June, 1957, but as a boy of a coal miner, also my wifeâ€™s history, our fathers paid a monthly fee for medical treatment at a company owned clinic but no coverage outside of the doctorâ€™s office. Also, many times when our fathers were laid off for a period of time, our health insurance was cancelled until recalled for work. There were many times we were in the hospital for illnesses and injuries not related to work which were out-of-pocket cost and put us in heavy debt for prolonged periods of time. Sometimes the un-
licensed Vet treated us as well as our few animals. These uninsured people are just a sliver of the 47,000,000, uninsured citizens in the USA. This seems so sad for our country when we are spending over, $4,000,000,000 (billion), a day in Afghanistan, and almost as much in Iraq, and have an armed garrison in over 150, places outside of the USA, and many more covert operations. It seems sinful to me. Eddie Varney Monroe
Protect the unborn On Wednesday, July 22, three NC families spoke at Friendly Baptist Church,Indian Trail,NC in support of The Unborn Victims of Violence Act. The Unborn Victims bill, according to these families, would bring them justice by recognizing in law the second victim in these horrific murders: the unborn child. The bill would also allow the State to prosecute for two murders. Among those urging passage of the Unborn
Victims Bill were Michele Dye, Kevin Blaine and Effie Steele. Dye, whose daughter and the unborn child she was carrying were both brutally murdered in Gaston County, called upon House Judiciary 1 Chair Deborah Ross and Speaker Joe Hackney to allow the Unborn Victims Bill a proper hearing in the Judiciary 1 committee, followed by a debate and recorded vote on the House floor. Blaine, of Raleigh, is the father of Jennifer (â€œJennaâ€?) Nielsen. Jenna, whose murderer has not yet been apprehended, was 8 1/2 months pregnant with her unborn son, Ethen, when, on June 14, 2007, they were both murdered in Raleigh, while on her early morning delivery route of USA today. Effie Steele, of Durham, is the mother of murdered victim Ebony Robinson, and the grandmother of her beloved grandson Elijah, who she
was carrying. Ebony was only 21 years old when she was shot and murdered in Hillsborough, NC. Ebonyâ€™s unborn son, Elijah, would have been born only two short weeks later. Ebony and Elijah, whose pictures were displayed at the press conference, were laid to rest in two separate caskets. â€œWe donâ€™t know if Elijah would have been a president, a doctor, an attorney, or a teacher because he was not given that chance. But most of all, he could have been a contributing member of society if he had been given the chance to enter this world and make his mark in history. I felt betrayed and robbed when the murderer of Ebony and Elijah was not charged with double homicide and was not made to pay for the life of my grandson. He should have been charged with and punished with two life sentences without the possibility of parole
instead of the one he received,â€? Steele said. The Justice For All Coalition recognizes that these families have suffered a horrific loss of not just one, but two loved and cherished individuals in their immediate families due to an act of senseless violent crime. We will continue to hold press conferences throughout North Carolina until this bill becomes law. The Justice For All Coalition stands alongside them in their efforts to pass this Bill. As the victimsâ€™ families argued, public policy should reflect the loss of two victims. The laws of thirtysix other states recognize the unborn child as a second victim, as well as the federal government, However, North Carolina law is gravely deficient -- recognizing only the â€œpregnant womanâ€? as the single victim in these crimes. Visit: thejusticeforallcoalition.com Jeff Gerber Unionville