No to amendments
The 2018 N.C. general election ballot includes six proposed N.C. constitutional amendments, for which voters may vote “For” or “Against.”
The League of Women Voters NC and Henderson County do not support proposed constitutional amendments unless they are well crafted and address matters of acute and abiding importance. None of the six proposed amendments that appear on the 2018 ballot meet these standards. Furthermore, four of the six are dangerous to the democratic health of our state, requiring LWVNC and LWVHC to come out against them.
The other two amendments, Hunt and Fish and Victims Rights, did not originate in North Carolina and are sponsored and advertised by parties outside our state.
Before you vote, please consult a nonpartisan guide, such as VOTE411.org, so that you can make an informed decision on these important issues.
Rachel Poller and Nan Jennings, co-presidents, League of Women Voters Henderson County
No public outcry
To the editor: Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death is getting a lot of attention, and rightly so. But where is the public outcry over the 40 children on a school bus in Yemen killed by a 500-pound bomb made in America and sold to Saudi Arabia for its use in its war on Yemen?
President Donald Trump is choosing to turn a blind eye to the Saudi crown prince orchestrating the assassination of his journalist critic just to preserve the business deal of $110 billion for Americans to have jobs to make arms for the Saudis to use to kill Yemen citizens and create the starvation disaster that is going on in that country right now.
I have a problem with the USA participating in this and Trump condoning it. Do you?
Patricia Bryant, Hendersonville
When you blindly publish Associated Press stories without vetting anything, you risk losing independent-minded people along with your most valued asset — credibility.
On page A5 of a recent edition, the AP story was placed in the news section even though the AP writer editorialized throughout. He opined (not reported) that Donald Trump “has falsely accused Democrats of wanting open borders.”
This statement alone, so obviously taking the Democrat side in the debate, should have nixed it right away. I personally know Democrats who want to eliminate ICE (this has been reported in your newspaper) and fight any concept of a wall. This is open borders in all but the name, and for this AP writer to personally disagree is editorializing. Journalists used to know the difference.
Rob Branson, Hendersonville
A positive voice
North Carolina’s Republican Party recently attacked Sam Edney (Democratic candidate, state House, District 113, www.electsamedney.com) with a vicious campaign that shouldn’t go unchallenged.
Anyone who’s met Sam knows he won’t raise taxes “over 270 percent,” threaten “constitutional freedoms” or support a “radical agenda.” (Note: Republicans eliminated your earned income tax credit, child care tax credit and college savings tax deduction, while increasing sales tax.)
Father, husband, AB Tech grad, business owner, school board and nonprofit member — Sam is the smart, caring citizen communities wish they had more of. So, what are Sam’s real legislative priorities?
1. Restore school funding to attract the best teachers and administrators, giving our kids the first-rate education required to attract investment and high-wage jobs.
2. Redirect $2 billion in state taxes to expand Medicaid for half a million North Carolinians rather than continue subsidizing the 33 states that already expanded Medicaid.
3. Protect our natural heritage and public health with strong environmental legislation backed by rigorous enforcement. (Like your water clean? Ask eastern counties contaminated by pig and coal ash discharges what went wrong.)
Sam won’t stoop to name calling. But he will bring a strong and positive voice to Raleigh.
Jack D. Robinson, Hendersonville
The great outdoors
I commend the Time-News for the recent articles on the county’s Outdoor Education Program for schools and the Paul Simon donation to the Muddy Sneakers program.
Much has been written about the importance of having much more outdoor exposure to children of all ages, notably the best-selling book by Richard Louv, “The Last Child in the Woods.”
Both mental and physical health is greatly improved with more guided teaching and just exploring the natural world around us.
One of the secrets to the highly acclaimed educational successes in Finland is its emphasis on outdoor education — at all times of the year.
As many Americans live a frenzied lifestyle with too much time in front of screens, it becomes crucial to escape to the great outdoors and get exposed to the music of the birds, crickets, trees and waterfalls.
R. Michael Erwin, Hendersonville
My wife, Stacey Caskey, is currently running for a seat on the Henderson County Board of Education. I would like to describe to readers of the Times-News, and to voters in Henderson County, what they will be getting if they decide to elect her to a term on the school board.
Henderson County will be putting a lifelong educator in a place where she can have an incredibly positive impact. Stacey has been named Teacher of the Year twice, in two different school systems, and she is national board-certified.
Voters will be electing a dedicated, passionate, creative, inspiring and caring educator. I’ve seen these things firsthand. On many nights, Stacey would put together five sets of lesson plans because her class had five different types of learners. Every year, Stacey would throw a spaghetti dinner fundraiser so that her kids could go on a trip to the Outer Banks. If a family came up short, Stacey often paid the difference.
Stacey will work hard to ensure that Henderson County schools become the best in the state. As you approach the ballot box on Nov. 6, please remember that a vote for Stacey is a sound investment in your child’s future.
Brian Caskey, Mills River
How is Rihanna allowed to withhold her services by choosing not to perform at Super Bowl halftime because of the 49ers’ treatment of Colin Kaepernick? Haven’t the courts ruled that artists, such as bakers and florists, cannot refuse to apply their creative talents for the service of someone simply because of their personal beliefs?
If some creative people must perform upon request, regardless of personal concerns, then all should be held to the same standard. Or was the initial court ruling subordinating personal belief a huge mistake?
Larry Mobley, Hendersonville
Letters to the editor concerning candidates in the Nov. 6 election must be received by the Times-News by noon on Friday, Oct. 26. The last day the Times-News will run election-related letters is Friday, Nov. 2. Send your letter to email@example.com or by regular mail to Letters to the Editor, The Times-News, 106 Henderson Crossing Plaza, Hendersonville, N.C., 28792.