We always get a lot of election-related submissions after it's really too late to consider them for publication. Here's a piece on behalf of the four major associations representing the North Carolina design and construction community.
Here's a long but interesting letter in response to an Aug. 11 letter from a former Wake County lawmaker that offered a history of merging the Wake County and Raleigh city schools. Read it here if you missed it.
The editorial board and some news reporters met with Wake County manager David Cooke and several other folks this week to get an update on upcoming changes that are transforming the behavioral health system. The other participants were Denise Foreman, assistant Wake County manager; Brian Sheitman, medical director at WakeBrook and a UNC psychiatrist; Jack Naftel, vice chair of the UNC Department of Psychiatry; Anita Watkins, strategic relations at Rex; Rob Robinson, COO of Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, and Alan Wolf, media relations at Rex/UNC.
I heartily thank Alan, a former N&Oer, for his synopsis here of the situation:
As part of the celebration of the centennial of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, the NCHSAA has released its “100 To Remember - Coaches." The list includes eight from Wake County schools: Bob Catapano (Sanderson); Paul Dinkenor (Leesville Road); Izzy Hernandez (Broughton); Larry Lindsey (Wake Forest Rolesville); Earl Smith (Wake Forest Rolesville); Steve Spivey (Broughton); Kathy Stefanou (Millbrook) and Jerry Winterton (Cary). The list highlights one hundred of the top coaches in NCHSAA history, going back to the founding of the organization in 1913.
Eleven players from Wake County were among those honored with scholarships this week from the National Football Foundation. Each one of them at the annual scholars banquet of the NFF's Bill Dooley Triangle/East Chapter was presented with a plaque and will receive a $1,000 scholarship to be sent directly to the university of their attendance.
On Saturday, Jan. 12, we printed this letter from Bernie Wolf of Youngsville:
Recently I found myself driving next to a woman using two hands to apply face powder - resting the powder container on the steering wheel while using the brush with her other hand, heading south on U.S. 401 at I-540. She even managed to change lanes at the same time.
No big thing - we all see inattentive driving frequently. But this stood out because the woman was wearing the uniform of the Wake County Sheriff's Department and was a sergeant with three stripes.
I hope someone tells her that setting an example like that is not a very good reflection on her or the department. When you choose to wear a badge and uniform, you subject yourself to higher standards.
Well, apparently somebody told her. We got this follow-up submission from Mr. Wolf:
Unfortunately it's human nature to be quick to complain but slow to compliment, if at all. Last week I observed an off-duty Wake County Sheriff's Department detention officer driving while distracted. The next day Sheriff Donnie Harrison personally called me to discuss the situation. The sheriff called me again a day later to tell me that the officer had been identified and was embarrassed and that it would not happen again. He also thanked me for taking the time to let the department know about this.
I live a half-mile outside of Wake County but obviously drive and spend a lot of time there and hope the community realizes how much the sheriff cares about the professionalism of his people, no matter what their job is. For him to take the time to speak to me personally, twice, reflects that he not only is a true professional but a public servant everyone in the area can be extremely proud to have leading this fine organization.
I hope he continues to serve all of us in this outstanding "hands on" manner that is unusual for elected officials. We need folks like that in state and national politics - maybe more would get done!
Some letters to the editor about Sunday's story detailing Wake County school board member Debra Goldman's suggestion to Cary police that fellow board member Chris Malone might have been the burglar who took $130,000 in jewelry, cash and coins from her home in 2010. Malone told police the two had a relationship that was "personal and physical." Miss the story? Read it here.
Wake County school board Chairman Kevin Hill visited The N&O to talk on the record about the board's vote to fire superintendent Tony Tata. These are my NONVERBATIM notes. I didn't have a tape recorder. Just a laptop. One highlight: "The citizens of Wake County have to demand that the politics come out of the board. They’ve got to."
Fired Wake County schools superintendent has a Point of View piece running on tomorrow's Other Opinion page. In it, he says:
In a relatively short period of time, we significantly raised expectations and proved that all Wake County Public School System students, regardless of their socio-economic status or where they attend school, can have strong academic performance. With the hope that the impact we made will continue for the benefit of our students and the belief that our community can best proceed with an accounting of progress, I want to share some parting observations.
Read what he had to say here.
A look at the weekend outpouring of letters regarding the Wake County school board's vote to fire Superintendent Tony Tata: