LET IT ROLL: Bowling could become school activity. 1B
October 14, 2010 127th year No. 287
JUBILATION IN CHILE: 33 miners pulled to safety. 3A
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FRESH FACES: New players dot Wake Forest’s roster. 1C
50 Cents Daily $1.25 Sundays
SAVE-A-LOT DISTRIBUTION FACILITY
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Architect’s rendering of the Save-A-Lot Foods distribution center in Lexington.
CENTER TO BRING JOBS BY DARRICK IGNASIAK ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
DAVIDSON COUNTY – St. Louis-based Save-A-Lot food stores on Wednesday announced it will build a distribution center in the Lexington Business Park, creating more than 40 jobs and setting the stage for more of its grocery stores to open in North Carolina. “We looked at this a few years ago, and the timing didn’t work out for us,” said Rick Meyer, Save-A-Lot food stores vice president of real estate and construction. “Here we are finally. Here we are getting ready to start a 325,000-square-foot distribution center that will initially employ 40 folks and will employ probably two or three times that eventually because we know this facility will be successful.” In front of state and local leaders, including N.C. Sec-
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Rick Meyer, Save-A-Lot Foods vice president, announces company’s Lexington distribution center at DCCC. retary of Commerce Keith Crisco, Meyer made the announcement on the campus of Davidson County Community College. Save-A-Lot food stores plans to create 43 jobs and invest $24.45 million during the next three years in Lexington, accord-
ing to a release from the governor’s office. Meyer said the company likely will break ground next month and be open for business in about a year. He said Save-A-Lot Foods currently has 1,200 stores across the nation, with about 20 in
North Carolina and 15 in South Carolina. With the new distribution center in Lexington, Meyer hopes to have about 100 stores in North Carolina in the next three to four years. “This is neat stuff for us,” Meyer said. “This is a great opportunity for us to grow our business. We have a store in Lexington already that we opened a few months ago which has exceeded our expectations.” According to the governor’s office, the project, previously code-named Project Lynx, was made possibly in part by a $125,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund. The Davidson County Board of Commissioners and Lexington City Council partnered together to acquire 76 acres of land that will be ground leased for 12 years back to the company. Commissioners and the City Council also will provide
a combined economic development grant of $145,000 each year for 12 years to the company, said Steve Googe, executive director of the Davidson County Economic Development Commission. “This is a Fortune 100 company that has located in our county,” Googe said. “It’s always beneficial to have their logo on your information. It sends a message to other people with distribution that we are a destination for distribution facilities.” Company officials did not announce immediate plans of when employees would be hired for the distribution center. Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $30,279, not including benefits, according to the governor’s office.
Alixandra Yanus was hired as assistant professor of political science in the Department of Political Science at High Point University. Yanus will be responsible for teaching introductory courses in political thought and American politics, upper division courses on political institutions, women and politics, and judicial politics and co-teaching the department’s senior seminar.
ON THE HOMES FRONT:
High Point gets good housing news. 1B OBITUARIES
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Local cities to leave Halloween alone BY PAT KIMBROUGH AND DARRICK IGNASIAK ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITERS
HIGH POINT – Local municipalities will not be asking trick-ortreaters to take to the streets a day earlier for Halloween this year. High Point, Thomasville, Archdale and Trinity all report they will not ask residents to observe Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 30, leaving residents free to celebrate it on its customary date the following night. Burlington appears to be the only Triad city that is going to call for trick-or-treating on Oct. 30. That city is going to host a
Halloween event at a park on that date and ask its residents to be prepared for trick-or-treaters that evening. In High Point, officials report getting a few calls and e-mails about whether the observance is going to be moved up a day. The last time Halloween fell on a Sunday night, in 2004, the City Council adopted a resolution to observe trick-or-treating on Saturday, reasoning that since Oct. 31 was a school night and a time of church observances for many, it made sense to make the change. No such move is in the works this year. “The city does not determine when residents will celebrate
Halloween,” said Alice Smith Moore of High Point’s Public Information Department. Thomasville City Manager Kelly Craver said the city’s public safety committee discussed the issue, but decided to take no action. Craver said the City Council several years ago decided to tell residents to celebrate Halloween on Saturday instead of Sunday to ensure the safety of children. “The city is taking no position on the date or time of that celebration,” Craver said. “It will be celebrated as it falls on the schedule.” Ann Bailie, city manager of Trinity, also said her city is tak-
ing no stance on Halloween. “Halloween is Oct. 31, and the city takes no position on when trick-or-treaters do their thing or when churches or other organizations hold their events,” she said. Archdale City Manager Jerry Yarborough echoed Bailie’s comments. “We are not telling them anything,” he said. “Halloween is their personal choice, whether it’s celebrated on the day before or Oct. 31. There has been no discussion about changing or doing anything celebrating Halloween. That’s a parental choice.” email@example.com | 888-3531
Armfield says arts should stand on their own Before you read...
Last in a five-part series.
BY VICKI KNOPFLER ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
HIGH POINT – Will Armfield II provided the most interesting response to the arts survey from The High Point Enterprise. The at-large High Point City Council candidate and financial adviser ticked
a solid list of “no” responses, indicating that he neither supWHERE ports nor DO THEY attends arts STAND? events. “I was Local political probably candidates too quick to and the arts answer all ■■■ those questions,” he said later. “I thought about it and thought somebody might misunderstand completely.
“I answered honestly. I’m willing to look into new things, and I’m not closed-minded.” Armfield attended a performance of “The Tempest” by the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival on Sept. 19, his first Shakespeare play since he was required to go in elementary school, he said. “I decided I should go and see what it was like,” he said. “It was different
SUNDAY: Survey gauges candidates’ opinions on the arts MONDAY: Mayoral candidates offer views TUESDAY: Council candidate is a big supporter of the arts WEDNESDAY: Perspective from a moderate arts supporter TODAY: Arts should be self-funded, council candidate says
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CAROLINAS 2A www.hpe.com THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2010 2006 THE HIGH POINT ENTERPRISE
Traffic stop leads to drug charges ENTERPRISE STAFF REPORT
Elisa Baker (center,) stepmother of Zahra Clare Baker, appears before District Court Judge Gregory Hayes on an obstruction of justice charge Wednesday in Newton. Baker is flanked by her attorneys, Jared Amos (left) and Scott Reilly, as she listens to Judge Hayes read the charges against her. She is accused of trying to throw off investigators with a fake ransom note.
Police search wooded lot for Hickory girl presumed dead HICKORY (AP) – Investigators used a police dog to search among tree-trimming equipment and piles of mulch for a missing 10-year-old North Carolina girl on Wednesday, a day after authorities said they believed the girl had been killed. Hours earlier, Zahra Clare Baker’s stepmother showed no emotion in court as a judge explained she could be sentenced to up to 30 months in prison if convicted of obstruction of justice. Elisa Baker is accused of trying to throw off investigators with a fake ransom note. The girl, who used hearing aids and a prosthetic leg because of bone cancer, was reported missing over the weekend, but police have indicated they don’t believe her father and stepmother’s story. Baker’s court-appointed attorney, Scott Reilly, said she was “scared to death” and very emotional about everything. “She’s upset about being held in jail. She’s upset about being away from her family,” he said. In nearby Morganton, seven officers and a police dog searched for Zahra on a wooded lot among piles of mulch and a wood chipper on Wednesday. The property has
equipment belonging to the tree services company that employs her father. Hours later, about 150 people gathered for a vigil in honor of the girl. An officer who asked for anonymity because he’s not authorized to discuss the case confirmed the site was among several where officers are searching for the girl. The officer said a different dog got a “hit” at the scene a day earlier, but nothing was found then. District Attorney James Gaither Jr. said he couldn’t discuss details about the case. “I’m upset. The facts are disturbing. You saw the images; she is such a darling child,” Gaither said. Friends have described Zahra as shy but upbeat despite her health problems. Elisa Baker is the only person accused in the case so far. Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said she was charged with felony obstruction of justice after admitting she wrote the ransom note, which asked for $1 million. She had already been in jail since the weekend on unrelated charges. Adkins has said police can’t find anyone outside Zahra’s household who has seen her alive in the last
Private money is the key
month. The uncertain timeframe has made it difficult for investigators to narrow down places to search for her. Zahra’s father, Adam Baker, has said it was possible his wife could be involved in the disappearance, and other relatives echoed those remarks. The father has not been charged in the case, though the chief said previously he hasn’t been ruled out as a suspect. The ransom note found Saturday was the first sign that the case would turn sinister. Officers discovered it on the windshield of Adam Baker’s car when they came to investigate a yard fire at their home. It was addressed to a man Adam Baker had worked for, though police quickly determined that man’s family was safe. Zahra was reported missing that afternoon. The stepmother said she last saw Zahra sleeping in her room about 12 hours earlier, though Adkins has indicated he doesn’t believe the timeline the couple gave him. Relatives and former neighbors, meanwhile, described Elisa Baker as nasty-tempered and violent in interviews and court documents. Zahra usually took the brunt of her wrath, they say.
Ex-sheriff gets 14-month prison sentence NEW BERN (AP) – The former sheriff of Carteret County was sentenced Wednesday to 14 months in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to the misuse of funds. Ralph Thomas, 60, of Beaufort was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan,
who also gave Thomas three years of supervised release and imposed restitution of more than $80,000. Thomas pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to commit an offense against the United States. Prosecutors said Thomas stole funds designated
selves break it,” said U.S. attorney George Holding in a statement. An attorney for Thomas did not return a telephone call seeking comment Wednesday. Several deputies have also pleaded guilty in connection with the case.
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FROM PAGE 1
and hard for me to follow. It’s not my strength, but I plan to go to more.” Armfield said he based his answers on his belief that the government should not become involved in private enterprise. “That’s the best way for us to create jobs, to allow capitalism to work. It will,” he said. “Everything’s got its fault. The fault of having government do it is there’s no competitive force at work. ... “Obviously there are some things government is designed to do: police, fire, water. That’s the job of government, but we don’t
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The winning numbers selected Tuesday in the North Carolina Lottery: NIGHT Pick 3: 3-3-6 MID-DAY Pick 4: 1-1-6-9 Pick 3: 4-0-3 Carolina Cash 5: 5-19-20-31-39 Mega Millions: 10-31-36-37-43 Mega Ball: 15; Megaplier: 4
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Kolsyn Liam) Healy was born at 10:10 a.m. on Sunday, which was October 10th. That made it 10/10/10 on the calendar. The father, Nicholas Healy, calls the time of
birth “a little crazy.” He tells WEWS-TV he expects 10 will be his son’s lucky number. Mother and son were reported to be doing fine at Cleveland’s Fairview Hospital.
DAY Cash 3: 3-3-3 Cash 4: 8-4-9-1
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The winning numbers selected Tuesday in the Tennessee Lottery:
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Ohio baby arrives at 10:10 a.m. on 10/10/10 CLEVELAND (AP) – Proud parents in Cleveland are thinking of their baby as a perfect 10 – partly because of the way he arrived over the weekend.
really necessarily need to play a role and spend any money on private enterprise.” As for nonprofits, Armfield said his mother was president of the Junior League of High Point, and he grew up helping her with projects. “I’m in definite support of nonprofits because they’re private money, and they have the choices, and if they’re doing a good job, private funding will support them. “If the government artificially props something up that’s not supported, that doesn’t make much sense.”
The winning numbers selected Tuesday in the South Carolina Lottery:
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for the use of covert drug investigations during a 10-year period ending in 2006. After the funds were cashed, Thomas would often take 25 to 50 percent of it for his own use, prosecutors said. “It is regrettable when those who are sworn to uphold the law them-
DAVIDSON COUNTY – A local man faces drug charges after sheriff’s deputies uncovered marijuana and cocaine during a traffic stop. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office Interstate Criminal Enforcement Unit stopped a 2007 Ford Taurus on U.S. 64 at Interstate 85 on suspicion of reckless driving at about 1:40 a.m. on Tuesday. The car displayed a Virginia registration and was driven by Sean Christopher Newton, 28, of 1011 McCormick St., Greensboro, according to the sheriff’s office. During the course of the traffic stop, deputies frisked Newton and located 14 grams of cocaine and a set of digital scales on his person, au-
thorities said. Officers then conducted a probable cause search of the car and located about 224 grams of marijuana, which equates to about half a pound, packaged in a plastic bag in the trunk area, according to the sheriff’s office. Newton was taken into custody and charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, felonious maintaining a vehicle for drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving and was cited for having no operator’s license. Newton was booked into the Davidson County Jail under a $25,000 bond and has an appearance scheduled for Dec. 28 in Davidson County District Court.
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Thursday October 14, 2010
â€˜LIVE TO DANCEâ€™: CBS announces judges, host for Abdulâ€™s new show. 8B
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Alleged US missile strikes kill 11 in Pakistan
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan â€“ Suspected U.S. unmanned aircraft launched four missile strikes at a house and two vehicles in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border Wednesday evening, killing 11 militants, said intelligence officials. The attacks occurred within about an hour in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, part of Pakistanâ€™s semiautonomous tribal region that is dominated by militant groups.
UN extends Afghan force amid terror concerns Come by & meet our staff, we are always looking forward to helping you!
UNITED NATIONS â€“ The Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to extend U.N. authorization for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan for a year, expressing â€œstrong concernâ€? at the increase in terrorist activities by the Taliban and al-Qaida. A resolution adopted by the U.N.â€™s most powerful body stressed the need for sustained efforts by the 143,000-strong International Security Assistance Force to assist the Afghan government.
Ahmadinejad makes bold show of strength BEIRUT â€“ Iranâ€™s president made a bold show of strength in Lebanon on Wednesday, vowing before thousands of Hezbollah supporters that U.S. and Israeli power in the Middle East will soon be eclipsed. The visit by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad underscored the eroding position of pro-Western factions in Lebanon. More broadly, it suggested that the competition over influence in Lebanon may be tipping toward Iran and its ally Syria, and away from the United States.
Nepalâ€™s Khagendra Thapa Magar stands with his mother outside their house on the eve of his 18th birthday in Pokhara, Nepal, Wednesday.
Teen to stand tall as worldâ€™s shortest man POKHARA, Nepal â€“ Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal is a little man facing a big day. Today â€“ his 18th birthday â€“ assuming his measurements read the expected 25.8 inches, he will officially be named the worldâ€™s shortest man. His family has been campaigning for years to get Thapa the crown, but earlier requests to Guinness World Records were rejected because of the possibility he might grow.
Hurricane Paula weakens as it nears Cuba HAVANA, Cuba â€“ Hurricane Paula weakened Wednesday afternoon on a rain-drenching crawl toward the lush tobacco-growing farmlands of western Cuba, threatening to inundate an area still seeking to recover from three major hurricanes in 2008. At 5 p.m. EDT, Paula had dropped a notch from a Category 2 to a Category 1 storm as maximum sustained winds declined to 85 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
Humpback whale makes record migration LONDON â€“ It wasnâ€™t love. It could have been adventure. Or maybe she just got lost. It remains a mystery why a female humpback whale swam thousands of miles from the reefs of Brazil to the African island of Madagascar, which researchers believe is the longest single trip ever undertaken by a mammal â€“ humans excluded.
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Luis Urzua, the last miner to be rescued, (wearing green), celebrates next to Chileâ€™s President Sebastian Pinera after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine.
Last of Chilean miners raised safely to surface SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) â€“ The last of the Chilean miners, the foreman who held them together when they were feared lost, was raised from the depths of the earth Wednesday night â€“ a joyous ending to a 69-day ordeal that riveted the world. No one has ever been trapped so long and survived. Luis Urzua ascended smoothly through 2,000 feet of rock, completing a 22Â˝-hour rescue operation that unfolded with remarkable speed and flawless execution. Before a crowd of about 2,000 people, he became the 33rd miner to be rescued. â€œWe have done what the entire world was waiting for,â€? he told Chilean President Sebastian Pinera immediately after his rescue. â€œThe 70
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days that we fought so hard were not in vain. We had strength, we had spirit, we wanted to fight, we wanted to fight for our families, and that was the greatest thing.â€? The president told him: â€œYou are not the same, and the country is not the same after this. You were an inspiration. Go hug your wife and your daughter.â€? With Urzua by his side, he led the crowd in singing the national anthem. The rescue workers who talked the men through the final hours still had to be hoisted to the surface.
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Thursday October 14, 2010
TOM PURCELL: Too many wait on government for ‘American dream.’ TOMORROW
Opinion Page Editor: Vince Wheeler firstname.lastname@example.org (336) 888-3517
We’ve allowed career politicians to hurt country I have been showered with so many blessings in my almost 80 years on this Earth that it is difficult for me to be angry. However, anger is fast approaching the same level as the heartfelt joy and thankfulness that fill my heart and my days. Much of my anger is directed at me and you – who have been stupid enough to allow career politicians to create a fiefdom in Washington, D.C., from which they dictate to us – while they ignore any law, from God or man, with impunity. President Obama has shown me arrogance and disdain of our well-trained military leaders in this war with an enemy determined to kill anyone that refuses their domination. His statement, “We are able to absorb another attack as devastating as or worse than 9-11,” is proof of his stupidity. The American desire to remain free will survive many attacks – even his presidency that seeks to turn us into servants who exist to pay taxes. Health care reform! Will someone please advise me what my employer spends each year for office supplies from Office Depot
has to do with health care. We are learning most of that law is devoted to control of our daily lives rather than improvement of the health care system. It will not improve anything. It will become another bloated federal program like welfare, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Both the Democratic and Republican political parties are concerned with preserving power wielded by the “party in control.” Let’s elect non-career politicians to re-establish a process in Washington which will make laws which are openly and fully debated – and completely clear as to it’s ramifications before it becomes law. Vote in November. RHEUMELL PRANGLEY High Point
Ideologues thrive in absence of independent thought Social discord in America reveals once again the need for a
spiritual inoculation to replace the propositional excess of institutional religion. Although American Christianity masquerades as a mandate from God, it is clear religiosity is not spirituality. This commercialized enterprise of contempt for human variability is no more than the clamor of hypocritical interposition. Where is God within this imperial dissonance and xenophobic extravagance? At some point, America must realize that triviality is not enlightenment and personal convictions are not necessarily absolute truth. Much of the supercilious tripe masquerading as a social palliative is no more than concealed notions of transcendence. It is unrestrained bigotry seeking liberation within ponderous communiques of hatred disguised as religious and political expertise. However, these euphemistic ploys, laden with antipathy towards others, fail to camouflage depravity intent on marginalizing others for the sake of social supremacy. It is what it is.
Central to the barrage of polemical refuse is intellectual sluggishness victimized by clownish demagogues spewing venomous rhetoric. Portentous ideologies thrive in the absence of independent thought. Nevertheless, veracity may be retrieved at the point of departure from historical reality. A spiritual renaissance with social implications cannot exist within the context of national delusion and hyper-patriotism. Any honest examination of the idealized monument of American impeccability will reveal the rotted corpse of cultural deceit. Will the opportunity to move beyond the decay of national duplicity once again expire within the cesspool of geopolitical dominance and personal avarice? The spiritual integrity of a good idea – called America – corrupted by lies is once again being weighed in the balance. If there is ascendancy beyond “the valley of the shadow of death” it must begin with a renewed condition of the heart dismissive of unconditional nationalism. ANDREA L. JACKSON High Point
An independent newspaper Founded in 1883 Michael B. Starn Publisher Thomas L. Blount Editor Vince Wheeler Opinion Page Editor 210 Church Ave., High Point, N.C. 27262 (336) 888-3500 www.hpe.com
Mayor Allen L. Todd, 408 Oaklawn Road, Winston-Salem 27107; 769-3065 h; 769-0880 w
Merger seems reasonable
Gary Craver, 266 Lansdowne Place, Winston-Salem 27107; 769-2308 h Zane Hedgecock, 1404 Wallburg-High Point Road, WinstonSalem 27107; 869-7979 h
he idea has surfaced in years gone by. But it’s looking as though the thought of merging two regional planning groups in the greater Piedmont Triad area may well happen in the near future. Officials in municipalities and counties throughout the 12-county region that has cities of the Triad at its heart must approve the plan first, and then the state would have to give its approval. Let’s hope the pragmatic view of having just one planning group in the region finds favor. For years, even as officials in the Triad and from across the central Piedmont of North Carolina have talked about regionalism, the 12 counties have been home to two regional planning groups, Piedmont Triad Council of Governments headquartered in Guilford County and the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments headquartered in Forsyth County. Sure, the two regional planning entities have tried to work together on many issues over the years, but the fact of the matter is that in this case, larger actually would be better. Combining the two planning agencies and the areas they each now serve would put the region in better position to win funding through federal and state grants. The High Point City Council is expected to endorse the idea, and we concur with such a decision. We are concerned, however, that, according to projections, High Point’s annual dues to the merged group would be $22,142, or about $1,000 more than currently paid to PTCOG. It would seem that consolidating the two offices would afford some savings in dues, not an increase. We’d urge officials of the merged agencies to look for such savings. But despite our concern about the annual fee, we still believe the two council of governments should merge, a move that surely would enhance the concept of regionalism that many have sought for years.
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One step at a time, we seek a cancer-free world
his is not the column I really want to write. The column I want to write will be written with church bells pealing and the lead will be an announcement that cancer is over, the cure has been found and henceforth, no more mothers, brothers, sisters and sons will be stolen by that killer. The column I want to write will be a celebration. This column will be a report to my investors, written not with church bells pealing, but with feet up, callused, blistered and tender to the touch. As some of you know, last weekend, I walked in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure, a 60-mile hike to raise money against breast cancer. Powered by 514 investors in that cause – i.e., incredibly generous readers – I managed to raise more than $28,000. And yes, I walked every single one of those 60 miles, roughly the equivalent of walking from Miami to Boynton Beach, Houston to Galveston, Toledo to Detroit. So here is my report: We started out early Friday from Nationals Park in Washington, with the sound of “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves blasting into the chill morning air. We ended up Sunday afternoon, a sea of pink and white, marching, walking, limping, 10 abreast down NW 15th Street onto the grounds of the Washington Monument through a thunder of cheers. In between there was: line dancing at a major intersection; men in pink tutus serving as crossing guards; gallons of Gatorade; miles of gauze; hills that went up forever; a little girl offering M&Ms to walkers passing by; a woman with the cropped hair of the chemo patient, holding up a sign that said, “You’re Walking For Me.” And there was: the grandeur of the U.S. Capitol building just after dawn, the serenity of a suburban lake, bridges and railroad tracks, buckled sidewalks and shading trees and the visceral jolt of passing by some dispossessed family’s things falling apart out on the curb, bedding and books and a forlorn teddy bear that had lost its child. And there was: the encouragement from strangers greeting you with high fives and cars tooting their horns, and attaboys from little kids and adrenaline sipped from the words and rhythms of pop songs – Motown, the Beatles,
Frankie Beverly and Maze singing, “I’m so happy to see you and me back in stride again,” Edwin Starr shouting, “I got to keep on ‘walkin’!” and the theme from “Rocky” pushing us up another godforsaken hill. And there was: steak for dinner, OPINION portable johns, shower trucks, thank God for whoever invented Leonard the massage chair, quiet talking Pitts with new friends whose names you ■■■ don’t know, huddling under covers in your tent, cold, aching, satisfied. You know, we are sometimes afflicted with inertia, a tendency to regard certain challenges as too big, certain problems as too intractable. A fondness for the helpless shrug. That we have no reason to be so cowed, so bereft of imagination and respectful of limitation, is as obvious as footprints on the moon, or children who’ve never heard of polio, or the black man in the Oval Office. Yet for all the miracles to which we have borne witness we still sometimes allow inertia to hold us. The 3-Day was the opposite of inertia. Sitting in camp, watching people swarm about – crew members serving meals, handing out towels, cheering stragglers, walkers hobbling about seeking food or gauze or a cellphone charger – I thought of ants. Ants don’t know from inertia. They have a goal: to build and expand their underground cities. And they do achieve this by working cooperatively, moving earth one grain at a time. Last weekend, some of us moved grains of earth toward our goal: a cancer-free world. And it occurs to me that when I finally get to write the column I want to write, it will not need to be overly long. Indeed, I’ll be able to look back to these three days and say what needs saying in just that many words: We did it. LEONARD PITTS JR., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. E-mail him at email@example.com. Pitts will be chatting with readers every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT on www. MiamiHerald.com.
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COMMENTARY THE HIGH POINT ENTERPRISE THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2010 www.hpe.com
Facts show High Point isnâ€™t a city that is â€˜stagnantâ€™ GUEST COLUMN
Before you read ...
City needs leaders whoâ€™ll chart new path to prosperity BY JAY W. WAGNER
ur city faces enormous challenges related to the national recession. High Point unemployment since 2008 has been as high as 12.2 percent (currently 10.8 percent) â€“ the highest percentage for High Point since the state began keeping such records, and well above the national average: 9.6 percent. Since November 2008, High Point has suffered a net job loss of 1,428 jobs. A â€œdead mallâ€? and empty storefronts, offices and factories plague our city. Showroom complexes are suffering unprecedented financial stress. High Point also lacks many of the civic and cultural amenities of other cities our size that can help us attract new investment and jobs. While we canâ€™t control what happens nationally, we can control how we respond to it. Our current elected leadership has been unwilling to make changes to address these challenges. We must adapt and overcome. Elections are about the future. What is your vision for High Point in five years, 10 years, 20 years? My vision is that I want High
Point to be known as the most livable, fun, innovative and business-friendly city of its size in the United States â€Ś a place where people arrive and say, â€œWow! Look at what they have accomplished!â€? To make this happen, we must elect leaders who will chart a new path to prosperity for our city. New leadership for a new High Point. My promise to the citizens of High Point: If elected mayor, I will â€Ś â€˘ Advocate for a new, innovative role for city government in economic development designed to promote the growth of large, small, and start-up companies in our city. â€˘ Aggressively seek companies that will sink roots in our community and become corporate citizens that support our arts, charities, and cultural community. â€˘ Aggressively support the redevelopment of neglected Core City neighborhoods and commercial districts to give High Pointers beautiful and inviting places to go that promote the economic, civic and
cultural growth of our city. â€˘ Enthusiastically support the incredible growth of High Point University as it becomes a major economic and cultural force in our cityâ€™s future. â€˘ Support efforts to keep the High Point Market healthy and strong into the far future and to improve the market experience for our out-of-town guests. â€˘ Seek to reduce governmental impediments to small business growth. â€˘ Focus on the proper role of local government as a means of evaluating spending programs and not waste taxpayerâ€™s money. â€˘ Go to Raleigh during the next redistricting to demand more representation for High Point in the state Legislature. â€˘ Have the courage to stand by my principles and make hard decisions. â€˘ Work hard to create a High Point that our children will be proud to call home. JAY W. WAGNER is a candidate for mayor.
The Enterprise ran notices asking City Council candidates to submit guest columns about their candidacies. Nine candidates replied by the Oct. 1 deadline. Their comments will be printed on the Commentary page over the next few weeks. Today, are comments of two candidates for mayor.
BY BECKY SMOTHERS
s your mayor, I urge you to separate the facts from the fiction in preparation for voting in the municipal election. Over the next few weeks you will hear a lot of campaign rhetoric. Separating fact from fiction can be difficult when we all are concerned about the national economy and our personal financial security. The call for â€œchangeâ€? is a political strategy that can sound appealing, but sometimes the change is quite different from what you were promised. The past two years have been difficult for your city government and for many of you. While there has not been a property tax increase in three years, revenues have decreased and so has the cityâ€™s budget. Expenses were cut by $16 million in this yearâ€™s budget, but essential services have been maintained. More budget cuts may be required. One candidate for mayor has said that High Point is â€œstagnant.â€? Nothing could be further from the truth. Even during a tough economy, there were 1,405 new jobs created or announced in 2009. In 2008 the number was 2,167, and in 2007, we announced 3,096 new jobs. Our economic development strategies work. We have diversified our local economy by attract-
ing new and expanding industries and businesses, and we are seeing new prospects interested in investing in High Point. More vacant buildings are now being leased. Certainly our population growth contradicts the â€œstagnantâ€? opinion. Our population has topped 102,000 and our growth percentage exceeds both Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Our median household income tops both Greensboro and Winston by over $3,000. Our economic development efforts consistently garner national awards and recognition. Another statistic that blows away the â€œstagnantâ€? claim is our decrease in violent crime. Violent crime in High Point has decreased 46 percent since 1997 while the population grew substantially in the same period. This significant reduction in violent crime has resulted from the strong working relationship between citizens and our police department. I am asking for your vote for another term as mayor. The next two years are going to the most challenging years weâ€™ve faced in decades. The reason I am seeking another term is because this is not the time to have wholesale change in elected leadership. Our next City Council will have at least two new faces. Two incumbents have only served two years and a third has served two terms. The city has excellent staff, but this is not a time to turn government over to the staff while new folks figure out whatâ€™s going on. With your help and your vote, we will continue the strong legacy of leaving it better than we found it. That is my commitment to you. BECKY SMOTHERS is a candidate for mayor.
6"/6cc^kZghVgn Thank you High Point!
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