And I’m a bit behind in posting this — chalk it up to a busy week. But that’s not gonna stop me from continuing what I started last week.
So here’s the deal: Each week I’ll highlight five editorials from across the state — avoiding anything in major metropolitan areas like Wake or Mecklenburg counties. The roundup might not have what most of us call “timely” editorials because some papers are weekly or don’t publish a daily editorial. I’ll try to keep them timely though. I’ll focus on hitting at least one paper from each of the state’s regions (or try to at least).
Why in the world am I doing this?: It’s simple — so many of us get wrapped up in our own little bubbles in Raleigh or Charlotte or where ever we are that we forget that there are cities and towns and villages in our own state that are battling some of the same issues we are. We often forget about the small towns, or we write-off their ideas as “Podunk” or “redneck.” We shouldn’t. It’s important to consume ideas and opinions from outside of your comfort zone. And this is what I’m attempting to do.
Here’s the rundown for June 19-23:
Watauga Democrat: “Our view: 4 wheels or 2, it’s important to be kind”
From the editorial: “Yes, cyclists are bound and entitled to the same rules of the road as drivers, but drivers need to treat them with the respect they would give any slow-moving vehicle — by practicing patience. For drivers, that includes waiting until it is safe to pass a cyclist and refraining from tailgating, giving cyclists the right of way when necessary, allowing for extra time when passing through intersections and recognizing hazards that may be dangerous for cyclists by giving them the space they need.”
The Enquirer-Journal: “Our view: We must return to community values”
From the editorial: “This isn’t a call for more gun regulation. The problem is much bigger than that. We live in a gun culture, and when combined with the viciousness often spewed on social media, it’s a recipe for disaster.
“And sadly we essentially ignore mental health in this country, then act shocked and appalled when another untreated American goes off the deep end. Most mass murderers have little to no family or friends and isolation for an unhealthy mind can lead to a detachment from reality. This particular shooter had a history of violence and anger management problems. You can’t just sweep the mentally ill under a rug and expect the problem to go away. But even among the mentally healthy, division in this land of opportunity is probably the highest its been since the Civil War, which was more than 150 years ago.”
The Pilot: “True Leadership by Commissioners”
From the editorial: “But the point is that the decisive leadership that the county commissioners displayed this past week will have the effect of sparing our local schools the painful necessity to slash money from current programs and services and/or eliminate jobs altogether to comply with the mandates the state requires in the final budget. Instead, the school administration can now proceed with its planning without having to wait any longer for the state budget ax to fall.”
The Daily Herald: “Let’s get the Weldon station back on track”
From the editorial: “More than 1/3 of the Amtrak stations nationwide are publicly owned. The station in Weldon currently serves as the public library. With the plan in place to bring an Amtrak stop to Weldon, it is time for the town to remodel the station and return it to its heritage.
“A look at communities participating in the Great American Stations Project indicates that bringing a stop to a town could take as long as 10 years from the start of planning. But officials involved in the Weldon project are estimating that rail service could start again in as soon as four years. So the time is now for everyone to lend a hand and get to work.”
The Daily Advance: “Audit of city utility bills needed to restore credibility”
From the editorial: “Last week, city council voted unanimously to pursue a full audit of the city’s 12,500 utility customer bills, directing City Attorney Bill Morgan to identify a list of firms that could conduct the audit. And to emphasize the priority of their action, Morgan was asked to have the list by council’s next meeting, June 26. Though such a project shouldn’t be compromised by haste, wanting to get the process moving reveals the impact this matter is having on the city and its residents and a desire that it be resolved as quickly as possible. We couldn’t agree more.
“That sense of immediacy was on display at the recent council meeting, just as it was several weeks ago at a public meeting held at Knobbs Creek Recreation Center, as dozens of angry residents showed up to complain about billing disagreements tied to the debacle.”
That’s it for this week. As always, if you have any tips or ideas for this, let me know!