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Asheville Citizen-Times

In memory of Heather: Blood drive honors late wife, mother

Heather was a wonderful young woman. Please support this blood drive in her memory.  (Aug 5, 2008 | post #1)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Horse racing is cruelty to animals

Horse racing is not inherently cruel, but there are aspects of the sport that need reform. 1. As someone posted earlier, horses are bred for speed, rather than durability. Yet despite this trend in breeding, track records or race records are not falling. For example, the record for the fastest Kentucky Derby is held by the great Secretariat, in 1973. Only one horse since has even come close, and that was Monarchos, in 2001. 2. One commentator on ESPN Radio this week suggested that race-day drugs should be banned in American horse racing, as it is in most of the rest of the world. Horses are given various anti-inflammatory and other drugs, often to mask pain during a race, all within the bounds of the rules. 3. Another commentator suggested that the whip be outlawed in horse racing.  (May 6, 2008 | post #20)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Falcons' Moore won't play for Navy

On my induction day in July 1973, the Superintendent of the Naval Academy looked out from the steps of Bancroft Hall on the sea of plebes assembled in Tecumseh Court. He said: "Look to your left, now look to your right. One of you will not graduate in June of 1977." A number of my classmates fell by the wayside because they were at Annapolis for the wrong reasons: family pressure, financial reasons, or athletics. At some point over their four years, they realized that the Navy was not for them. I say Bravo Zulu (Navy code for "well done") to this young man for realizing early on that the Navy was not for him, and allowing another equally deserving candidate the opportunity to enter with the Class of '12. Kdog .... USNA '77 BEAT ARMY!  (May 6, 2008 | post #4)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Second sheriff's office mentioned at Medford trial

It does seem odd that after months of investigation and several days of trial, that one witness named the Macon County sheriff, another witness named the Haywood County sheriff, and prosecutors said that the witness who named the Macon sheriff made an error. With no indictments and assuming no other evidence, it seems to me that both Holland and Alexander are due the benefit of the doubt at this juncture. Furthermore, it seems to me that it "takes two to tango." The alleged bribes supposedly accepted by at least three local sheriffs were offered by a "respectable " business. As the Medford trial wraps up, we deserve to know whether Henderson Amusements, Inc., considers this to be a normal business practice.  (May 5, 2008 | post #35)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Harvesting rainwater critical in drought

In the interest of full disclosure, the system at Watauga High School is not cheap. There is no economic payback, because water is cheap. But, there are significant benefits: 1. The water conservation alone. A similar system at a middle school in Chapel Hill saves more than 2000 gallons of water every school day. Watauga HS will have nearly twice as many students, so water savings will be substantial. 2. Holding that rainwater reduces stormwater runoff into nearby streams, with the resultant sediment and other pollution. 3. At WHS, the system will also provide water for irrigation of the baseball and softball fields. The football and soccer fields will have artificial field turf. On a residential scale, using rainwater collected in barrels can be used for flushing (as noted above) and for small scale irrigation. You're not going to keep a tobacco field irrigated, but you could easily keep a small garden going through a dry spell, with enough storage. Keeping your barrel or tank covered helps keep the leaves and mosquitoes and other unwanted "stuff" out, and prevents evaporation as well. For flushing or irrigation, you don't need food grade barrels.  (Apr 21, 2008 | post #12)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Harvesting rainwater critical in drought

Rainwater is great to use for flushing your toilets. It only takes a small pump (you could even use a PV panel to charge a battery to run the pump), put a little filter, and you're all set. Our engineering firm designs systems for public schools. The new Watauga High School in Boone will have 60,000 gallons of rainwater storage, and will use that stored rainwater for flushing toilets and urinals.  (Apr 21, 2008 | post #10)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Obama? Clinton? Superdelegates say electability trumps pr...

It seems the Republicans have really done a great job, selecting as their candidate a man who will be 73 years old on inauguration day. Already, the "Straight Talk Express" has jumped the tracks. "Throughout our history, wartime has been a time of sacrifice. ... What have we sacrificed?" said the Ariz. Republican, who spent five years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp a generation ago. "I don't remember ever in the history of warfare when we cut taxes." (USA Today, May 24, 2004). Yet, just last week, McCain proposed a series of sweeping tax cuts, that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. In May 2005, McCain circulated a draft bill that would have applied the standards of the Army Field Manual on interrogations to all agents of the US Government, including the CIA. His "anti-terror " bill would have outlawed such acts as waterboarding and other torture. Now, McCain has sided with the Bush administration, who vetoed essentially that same bill. In 2006, the McCain-Kennedy bill provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. In a GOP debate in January 2008, McCain said he would not vote for the bill that carried his own name. Early on, McCain said he did not think Roe v. Wade should be reversed. Now he favors reversal of Roe v. Wade. McCain's position on ethanol seems to depend on his audience. But, I can understand a man McCain's age being confused or forgetting what he said last week or last month or last year.  (Apr 21, 2008 | post #9)

Asheville Citizen-Times

McCain courageous, not a hypocrite as letter suggested

Sorry, but don't count me among those who try to detract from McCain's military service. Those of you who go out of your way to attack his service record are cut from the same cloth as the "Swiftboat Vets for Truth." Similarly, don't count me among those who question the patriotism of ANY man or woman who has served honorably in our armed forces. We have too many who are eager to call this or that politician "traitor " from the comfort of their Lazy-Boys, even though those "traitors " risked their lives to protect those Lazy-Boys' behinds. It is reasonable to disagree with McCain's policy positions, and I do. It is reasonable to point out discrepancies between McCain's current positions on issues and his statements in the past (such as his position on tax cuts during wartime). It is unconscionable to continue these personal attacks, many based on rumor and innuendo, and many more rooted in nothing more than wishful thinking.  (Apr 17, 2008 | post #34)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Jesus banned in courthouse foyer unless he's among other ...

A wonderful example of the correspondence that flourished between Jefferson and Adams in the twilight of their lives, long after both had retired from politics. They spent much of their public life in the newly-created United States as bitter political rivals, even to the point of not speaking when Jefferson served as Adams' Vice-President. Yet, they reconciled at the urging particularly of Abigail, John's wife, recalling their days serving together in the courts of Europe during the American Revolution and before ratification of the Constitution. Ironically, they both died on July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration they were both so instrumental in writing and advancing in Philadelphia. I am often sadly amused by those who invoke "the Founding Fathers" as some sort of homogeneous group of men of like mind on every issue. Those people have no clue. Similarly, those who are following the current HBO series on Mr. Adams would be wise to get the book and read it. That volume alone would open their eyes to a reality of the early days of our country that doesn't get taught in 8th grade civics class or 10th grade US History. And it is a far cry from what you will learn from the shouting heads on TV, who similarly have no clue.  (Apr 17, 2008 | post #58)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Jesus banned in courthouse foyer unless he's among other ...

So, was Jefferson a Christian, or an atheist? And when did Jefferson serve on the Supreme Court?  (Apr 17, 2008 | post #30)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Jesus banned in courthouse foyer unless he's among other ...

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." -- Matthew 6:1  (Apr 17, 2008 | post #5)

Asheville Citizen-Times

WNC schools may get more lottery reserve cash for constru...

Rather than follow successful models in Georgia and South Carolina, where the bulk of lottery revenues are given to students for college scholarships, our legislators came up with this convoluted system with less money paid out in winnings, and less money going to meet real needs.  (Apr 17, 2008 | post #3)

Asheville Citizen-Times

McCain courageous, not a hypocrite as letter suggested

Well said!  (Apr 17, 2008 | post #6)

Asheville Citizen-Times

McCain courageous, not a hypocrite as letter suggested

He's not a hypocrite. But he is a flip-flopper. All of a sudden he's proposing tax cuts during wartime, something he found unconscionable less than four years ago. All of a sudden he claims torture is OK, although he sponsored an amendment that would have banned any US government agency, including the CIA, from using torture.  (Apr 17, 2008 | post #3)

Asheville Citizen-Times

WNC schools may get more lottery reserve cash for constru...

A drop in the bucket when compared to school facilities needs across western North Carolina. Fact of the matter is that the lottery has been a total bust. Either do away with it, or start from scratch. Tinkering around the edges, as this legislation does, accomplishes nothing.  (Apr 17, 2008 | post #1)