Sorry, Ted

Ted Vaden, the public editor of the News and Observer, has a tough job. He's supposed to represent the interests of readers by reporting on the newspaper's reporting. In my view, there's so much to criticize about the News and Observer that it's hard to understand this puff piece on Andy Curliss.

Had it not been for the so-called "booze cruise" hosted by the state for bigwigs at public expense over the Fourth of July weekend, what would The N&O have to write about in the news doldrums of summer?

A lot actually. War in the Middle East and legislative deadlock in Raleigh come to mind. But the talkabout story of the summer so far is the saga of public officials swilling beer and gobbling canapes aboard a state ferry cruising the Beaufort Tall Ship festival while untitled mortals sweltered ashore in long lines to see the boats. The story was an eyeball-yanker.

Why Letters to the Editor Matter

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There's no way for us to know how many BlueNC readers have taken the next step to advocate for a candidate or issue. Those of us who have know how good it feels to read your ideas in print knowing that everyone else in town will see it as well. It's fun, empowering, and, most importantly, effective.

I just heard again from my local paper, and they're printing another letter of mine, the second in two weeks. These letters can provide your perspective, examples of the ways bad policies effect you, and/or new facts about an issue. The following letter to the Cherokee Sentinel demonstrates another function of the LTE - correcting the record and molding opinion:

"Typical of an election year, Charles Taylor has begun a local radio smear misrepresenting his opponent's position. The misleading ad states that Heath Shuler wants to reduce funding the Border Patrol's efforts to stop illegal immigration quite the opposite from the facts as given on Mr. Shulers website:

"We must increase the resources and funding available to the Border Patrol so more agents can be hired and more patrols conducted to keep people from illegally entering our country..."

Mr. Taylor's ad also asserts that Mr. Shuler wants to take money from the Border Patrol and apply it to a fully-funded program. What program, Mr. Taylor? Vague innuendos don't fool informed voters. I, for one, will not vote for anyone whose campaign is based on fabrications and smear tactics."

Rep.Goforth & Sen.Snow come through for NC Veterans!

To My Brother & Sister Veterans of the Great State of N.C. And those especially within the 11th Congressional District. I commend each of you and “Thank You For Your Service”! I want to spend just a moment to bring some facts to you. Some facts, That not only I feel you should know ,But if the spineless, corrupt, politicians now in control of the US Congress & Senate would wake up and realize their moral & Ethical Obligation to us ,they would want you to know!

Yes our Veterans Data was illegally handled by a VA Employee. Yes it was stolen. And the IG did his investigation and he is the one person in this whole affair that deserves any respect from us, the United States Veterans. Now, This Past Saturday I had the chance to listen to current Congressman Charles Taylor. Now Taylor in his flier released this week and in recent newspaper articles, has tried to give us the impression that it was a done deal. But I find this funny as Saturday he was speaking on it and made the statement that if it doesn't go thru then we have the money to buy it with! Whoa! I thought you already said we had it Mr. Taylor.

Democrat Roger Sharpe (NC-5)

Meet Roger Sharpe, a farm boy from Sandy Springs, NC.

Sharpe is a former State Senator for this area, a lifetime public servant, and an unlikely author of such Southern masterpieces as "Ceremony Of Innocence."

As a young man, Sharpe was inspired by introductions to such notable persons as the Reverend Dr. Clarence Jordan, founder of the inter-racial Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia; Dr. Anna Arnold Hedgeman, a prominent African-American civil rights leader and educator; and the Reverend Will Campbell, recipient of a Presidential Medallion in the Humanities. Sharpe’s participation on the Baptist Student Union LISTEN Team in Winston-Salem with children living in slum-housing in the neighborhood of Patterson Avenue and Northwest Boulevard also would influence his life’s work profoundly.

Hogs, Pigs, Guns

An AP Story on the Technical Corrections bill in the NC State House has this little nugget:

There are some nontechnical changes. One provision would allow company police officers authorized by the state to make arrests to carry concealed weapons without receiving a permit. There is no opposition to the change, Hackney said.

This seemingly innocuous provision is a union-busting gift to the hog industry.

According to the NC Council of Churches the Smithfield Company Police have wide powers to arrest and intimidate workers. This provision would give them the ability to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Bill Killing = People Killing

From the News & Observer, a story that a bill to insure North Carolina's high-risk population has been killed in the Senate. The idea came from a N.C. Institute of Medicine task force, which included such varying interests as business owners, health insurnace executives, hospital admins, docs, consumer advocates, and lawmakers themselves.

The bill was so finely crafted by this task force of experts that it passed the House 95-10 just yesterday. But, it has been killed in the Senate.

What is a high-risk person?

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