The News-Journal (Raeford, N.C.) /
May 12, 1983, edition 1 /
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The Raeford City Council took a good step in the direction of im
proving the municipal airport last week when they voted to adopt
'? the recommendations of a blue ribbon study committee.
The recommendations call for getting Hoke County involved
financially in supporting the facility, establishing a "non-political"
? commission to oversee the operation of the airport and resolving the
? question of parachute landings near runways.
It was the last recommendation that sparked a fiery reaction from
" parachute jump school owner Gene Thacker.
Thacker holds a different view than the members of the study
*. committee and the city council. He believes his operation is not a
hazard to aviation, and that the activity of the jump school is keep
ing the Raeford Airport alive.
Rather than follow the edict of the council and move his jump
landing zone one-half mile east of the runways, Thacker has said he
? will take the city to court.
Mr. Thacker's position is unfortunate and shortsighted.
The community and the taxpayers, who are paying the bills at the
' airport, do not need a long bitter court battle. What they need is a
The airport needs the jump school and Gene Thacker needs the
As evidenced by the vote last week, council members believe that
the airport should be used to benefit the entire community.
We agree. It is a public facility, which is supported by the public
through local, state and federal tax dollars.
If the airport is not used to the benefit of the taxpayers, then a
prudent move on the part of the city might be to sell the $1 million
facility and allow it to become private.
However, because city and county officials believe the airport is
the "front door to the community," and that industrial recruitment
efforts hinge on its vitality, selling the facility does not seem to be
The jump school, which is considered one of the best in the
world, has given Raeford an international reputation, and students
attracted to the school have contributed to the local economy.
On the other side, the parachute jumping here has also given the
Raeford Airport a stigma.
The Raeford Airport has a reputation of being unsafe because of
a danger to aircraft posed by the falling jumpers.
Pilots from local industries have complained loudly about the
hazard, and most of the firms here do not use the Raeford strip ap
parently because of the alleged dangers.
Whether the jump school is posing an actual threat to pilots or
not, is no longer the issue.
Because the present operation of the school is perceived to be
dangerous, parachutists landing near the runways are posing a
threat to industrial recruitment.
By relocating the jump touchdown site, the rumors of danger
could be squelched, and the airport could become another asset
used for landing new employers here.
It is hoped that the differences between Mr. Thacker and the city
can be resolved amicably, and that the jump school will continue to
prosper at the Raeford facility.
With the prospect of a sewer moratorium being lifted here and
with the economy improving, Hoke County is in a good position to
attract new industry.
It would be tragic, if the feud at the airport drove a prospect to a
neighboring county or state where such problems do not exist.
We commend the study committee for their efforts, and the
Raeford City Council for taking a strong step to regain a hold on
the future for all of Hoke County.
The North Carolina Department of Labor will honor Burlington
Industries' Raeford Plant this week for amassing 10 million safe
employee working hours.
Over 1,200 employees have worked at the Raeford Plant since
October 2, 1978, without a lost-time or disabling injury.
Since the December cutoff date for the special award, the
menswear plant employees have garnered almost another 1 million
In addition the Raeford Dyeing Plant is nearing the 3 million
When one considers the type of machinery used by the workers,
the number of employees at the two plants and the size of the
facilities, Burlington's injury record is remarkable.
Burlington is the largest employer in the county and the
commendable safety achievement shows a commitment by manage
ment to provide sound working conditions and a conscientious ef
fort by employees to watch out for their own and others' well being.
ewd - journal
NATIONAL NEWSPAPER association
PabMsfced Every Thanday at Raeford, N.C. 2*376
119 W. Elwood Avhh
Sabarriptioa Rale* la Advaace
la Coaafy Per Year? Sit. M 6 MoatH? $5.00
Oat of Coaaty Per Year? $12.86 ? Moat In $4.00
LOUIS H. FOGLEMAN, JR
PAUL DICKSON Editor
HENRY L. BLUE Prodadloa !
WAMEN N. JOHNSTON N*w?l
MRS. PAUL DICKSON Society Editor
SAM C. MORRIS C oatribartac Editor
ANN WEBB AdverTtaiat fepreaeatatfre
Secoad (laa* Portage at Raeford, N.C.
Letters To The Editor
To the Editor:
.. AHa? "8 read ,he rcce? editorial
A Private Effort" it becomes
necessary to write this letter
Necessary first of all to inform
those who do not understand the
issue and necessary to put the issue
in its proper perspective.
First, to respond to the editorial:
for one did not know that
tempers were anything other than
cool I have not lost my temper nor
am I aware of anyone who is angry
over the issue of the dog pound.
The so-called verbal fireworks as
described by The News-Journal
were a lot less than that and those
who were not there and depend on
the newspaper for a report have
sure been misled.
This part of the issue has been
blown entirely out of proportion
and implies that those of us
working toward bettering the com
munity by doing all thai anv citi/en
has the right to do. have "become
angry, but this is liot the case" It
implies that the County Commis
sioners are angry and stubborn
when this is not the case at all.
At the April meeting I asked
tour questions pertinent to the
issue and -was given four cursory
Following the discussion the
commissioners made a motion to
move the pound as soon as possi
ble and improve it as much as
Granted, a rather nebulous mo
tion but a beginning and more than
has been done in the past.
I have been a resident of Hoke
County for over nine years and
while living here have wondered
why humanity toward animals has
never become a public issue.
My wife, wondering the same
thing, advertised for someone to
help establish a humane society but
virtually got no response.
Promises were made by some in
the community, but finally in
desperation and singlehanded she
did what no one else was willing to
do and that is establish the
Hoke/Raeford Humane Society
with the primary purpose of
operating a spaying and neutering
program to cut down on the
population of animals. This pro
gram has eliminated several things
that have bothered us: drop-offs or
the abandonment of unwanted
animals, road kills of stray dogs
and cats, euthanasia of animals
impounded by cutting down on the
number of pickups.
Since then, as the public became
aware of our existence, we started
to receive complaints about animal
abuse and one of those was of how
the animals were made to suffer in
the County Pound.
From the very beginning we did
not ask for a lot of tax dollars as
some have suggested, but for. as
you say in your editorial,
minimum humane necessities.
anHr fei! ?" seemin8ly deaf ears
and finally when the questions
were put directly to the County
Manager, the answer, of course
was no money could be ap
propriated because they did not
know where to put a pound nor did
e 8 plan for a P?und.
When we pressed the subject to
the County Commissioners, their
answer was to appoint a committee
mandated to come up with a
pound plan and a location.
Fortunately, I was part of that
committee and feel that it did its
job to the letter.
I now am only hoping that
something is done before next
winter and have asked others in the
community to sign the petition
made available in some of the
shops in Raeford.
This will be presented to the
i*?!!ntr 9ommissioners on the
loth of this month.
It was implied in your editorial
that we of tt?c Hoke/Raeford
Humane Society, are not thinking
beyond the present.
Had I been asked what our cur
rent long range plans were I am
sure that The News-Journal would
not have made the implication,
when in fact we hope to one day
have a shelter that is independent
ol government money or govern
ment control and would then be
able to take those animals that the
law requires to be kept 10 days
before extermination and give
them a second chance to be
adopted. This would save the
county from the cost of the
euthanasia and hopefully increase
the adoption rate.
So we do haye vision and this is
one that others share.
wo"'d not be a duplication
of effort but an addition to the
mandatory" pound the govern
ment must provide. And here is
where we now are impatient: to
upgrade the existing facility or tear
it down and build another. The im
portant thing is that the animals
get proper, humane care.
Hoke County ' has been here
since 191 1, and has not spent much
during that time on a dog pound
Most of the expense that needs to
be spent now is a one time cost and
would not increase the annual de
mand on taxpayers (including me)
to an appreciable extent,
u ?S- 'ast audit of
iqoi! bounty's worth (June 30,
1*82) there was a fund balance
available for future appropriations
in the amount of 5905,236
Since then the Pilot building was
purchased and this amount is less
Also while it is important to
have this surplus for various fiscal
reasons it is equally important to
have a pound that conforms to
minimum standards as required by
law and common decency.
Lei me end by saying that we ap
preciate the ongoing coverage and
interest in this issue by The News
Journal, but please, become a
member of the Humane Society
before telling us what we "must
Jack McGinnis, Director
Hoke/Raeford Humane Society
To The Editor:
Hoke County Celebration
of the Arts '83 Festival, April
22. was a fine week of art ex
Posure in spite of the surprise snow
that followed the 800-balIoon lift.
?rf on Monday of the festival.
The success of an arts festival of
this magnitude is due to the hun
reds of people who work without
compensation because they desire
to do something good, productive
and educational for their schools
r? i Who helped produce the
who n'Sh ,0 thank thos? people
who made it possible.
9.raI',udt is ?*tended to local
residents who provided lodging in
one' u?nTJ0r many of ,he over
one _ hundred out-of-town guest
Performers, artist, and crafts peo
ple who had traveled long
distances to participate.
To the many local visual and
performing artist and craftmen
who contributed time and talents,
we give merited esteem and valued
Special appreciation is expressed
to the courteous service and
creativity of J.W. Turlington
School's students, faculty, ad
ministration and staff who served
as equipment crews, emcees,
members of functional commit
tees, prepared meals and light
refreshments for guest artists and
set up areas for art displays,
demonstrations and performances.
The Exceptional Children's Pro
gram, participating through their
"Very Special Arts Festival", gave
joy and enrichment to the festival
We thank the efficient efforts of
the Sandhill Youth Center, the
various schools, departments and
staff members of the Hoke County
Board of Education whose services
were invaluable, and the many
parent and community volunteers
who graciously gave time, energy
and expertise to the festival.
A special thank-you is expressed
to local merchants who provided
necessary staging equipment, to
WSHB Radio (now WSMR) and
the News Journal for publicity and
to the Raeford Police Department
for security services.
The Hoke County Arts Council,
the Chaminade Music Club of
Raeford, the Raeford Womans
Club, Burlington Worsted Plant,
the Public Library and many other
agencies actively participated in
We especially salute the hun
dreds of cheerful students and
adults who attended, lifting the
quality of the festival and making
the arts celebration worth while.
The ultimate benefactor whose
generous financial gift made possi
ble both the 1982 and 1983 Hoke
County Arts Festivals at J. W.
Turlington School has been the Z.
Smith Reynolds Foundation Inc.,
to whom we give our deepest
gratitude and highest regard.
This Foundation's contributions
are often unrecognized by the
public, therefore we wish to
publicly salute and thank the Z.
Smith Reynolds Foundation and
its executive director, Thomas
Thank each of you who made
the Hoke County Celebration of
the Arts '83 Festival one of the
Mary Archie McNeill
Cultural Arts Director
Hoke County Schools
Paramedics save lives
To the Editor:
A s a result of a recent article ap
pearing in your paper, I feel both a
moral and professional obligation
The article headlined "Local
Doctors Unimpressed by
Paramedic Unit Proposal," car
ried statements by two local doc
tors which I believe to be inac
curate and misleading.
I have a great deal of respect for
both of these doctors.
One of the doctors is my own
family physician, and I entrust the
general health of my family and
myself to him. I know both of
these doctors to be experts in their
field, but do not believe either one
specializes in Emergency Medicine.
(See LETTERS, page 3B)
CLIFF BLUE . . .
People & Issues
FACING FACTS OF
LIFE. ..One of the major
weaknesses of American politi-|
cians, and would-be politicians, is
that they don't have the backbone
to say "No" to what the country
needs. In fact, it will probably be
the nation's ruination.
The United States is in an
untenable situation when we look
at the great national debt.
A week ago the nation received
the report of the National Com
mission on Excellence in Educa- (
tion. The report was the America's '
public schools were not getting the
The "milk in the coconut" was
that the schools needed more
If the schools ask for more
money they should "find and tell"
where the extra funds would come
The national government now is
spending about $S67,965,200.00
per day more than is coming in.
Sooner or later the federal
government will be like the Con
federate States after Lee's sur
Most intelligent people know
this, but some close their eyes and
still ask for more and more from
poor old Uncle Sam.
FEDERAL PAY MYTH ...
Some, years ago federal
bureaucrats managed a study com
paring federal employees pay
scales to those selected blue
ribbon, private corporations. With
results, they persuaded Congress
to raise federal pay scales and in
addition, provide for twice-yearly
guaranteed cost of living increases.
The whole process was
fraudulent. Not only were federal
pay scales higher than the average
in most American communities
(and the work easier, and benefits
and retirement far better) but
private economy employees rarely
enjoyed automatic pay hikes every
six months regardless of business
This pie-in-the-sky federal
overspending helped produce
record deficits and was one of the
major causes of the economic crisis
which climaxed in Jimmy Carter's
Interest rates were so high the
economy hit bottom. Inflation was
also rampant and the many entitle
ment programs and automatic pay
increases were also aggravating the
The budget deficit problem is
still unsolved because the Reagan
Administration dares not to try to
roll back gains. It did manage to
slow increases, and reduce spend
ing on some domestic oroerams.
But federal pay scales remain
lavish, federal waste vast, and it re
mains almost impossible to fire in
competents imbedded in Civil Ser
vice, with its job protection.
The latest proof of this came
recently when a Florida man was
named to head the government
printing office. He found
employees there were being paid
more than employees in com
parable jobs in the private sector.
WORKFARE A GOOD PRO
GRAM... As with every program
which attempts to get freeloaders
off their posteriors, and to work,
major opposition seemed to have
developed to the present effort in
Congress to require recipients of
federal welfare to work - if
physically able to do so.
it is hard to imagine anyone in
this country objecting to that
philosophy a hundred years ago,
even 50 years ago. But in some of
those millions who have now
become accustomed to the federal
role, who have been convinced the
government owes them a job and a
living, the idea of being required to
work for federal money, now ap
pears to be offensive.
We understand that one reason
the Reagan Administration is
pushing workfare legislation is that
it worked in California when Presi
dent Reagan was governor. The
president himself has said the law
there vastly reduced the number of
recipients on California's welfare
rolls and the financial burden of
We understand that the state
didn't receive one objection from
those cut off the welfare rolls
because they wouldn't work (some
of whom were already secretly
working at other jobs or not
reporting all their income).
Congress is currently squabbling
over similar reform legislation.
Those who back it support
justified reform, which will save
working taxpayers billions and
cleanse a program now choked
Workfare is a moral proposi
tion; it is saying to working tax
payers who must fund welfare that
the federal government will make
every effort to see that money col
lected from them is not wastefully
or fraudulently squandered.
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