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Letters to the editor

Two points to consider regarding gun editorial

I am responding to the letter from Talon Buchholz (News-Times, Oct. 28 issue) in which he attacks the newspaper for not having editorials signed by the individual(s) who wrote them.

There are two points to be made here. On one point I agree with Buchholz; on the other I agree with the News-Times. I agree that newspaper editorials should be signed by whoever wrote them, not published as "the views of the newspaper."

As it happens, I am a retired newspaper editor who during a long career won many state and national awards for editorial writing — all of them signed with my name. I won first place for editorial writing in weeklies in Florida and Virginia, and also many awards from the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, which annually honors a "Golden Dozen," the 12 best weekly editorial writers in the U.S. So, yes, I certainly agree with Buchholz that they should be signed.

The staff of the newspaper would probably say that one reason for not signing editorials is to avoid receiving annoying or even harassing phone calls from readers. Well, my way of dealing with that situation was to tell the caller that I refused to discuss editorial opinions with readers, and that they should instead write a letter to the editor. It usually worked.

Now, to address the point where I agree with the News-Times. Buchholz wrote his letter because he disagreed with your editorial endorsing President Obama's views on gun control laws. (Not me: I support the president's views on this issue.)

If the editorial had disagreed with Obama's views, Buchholz then could not have cared less about whether the editorial was signed or not. Bottom line: Buchholz is not actually concerned about signed versus unsigned editorials; rather, he wants no restrictions on the ability of people to buy guns, own guns, and, in many cases, use them to kill people.

Robert A. Juran

Hillsboro

County's tax deferral plan unwise

On Oct. 20, Washington County Commissioners voted to support a questionable "urban renewal district" plan for Hillsboro, which would divert future property tax dollars within the 1,090 acre area to pay off a bond to supply water, sewers, roads and bike paths to attract high-tech manufacturing type development.

The plan contends that "it is highly unlikely that private industrial developers can provide this scale of infrastructure in a responsive manner to prospective large-site users." This is arguable.

Majestic Brookwood has developed land and attracted business buyers within the proposed area for three of its seven properties within a year of purchase, without using any public financing. This is already valuable land; much of it adjoining Sunset Highway and already designated an Enterprise Zone, so qualifying businesses will pay no property taxes for three to five years.

A handful of property owners will greatly benefit now, while Hillsboro residents may not see any benefit until the $172,200,000 bond plus interest is paid off many years from now.

Tying up future tax revenue from this valuable land that would otherwise go to K-12 and community college education, courts and human services for the city of Hillsboro and Washington County is unwise and risky in terms of timely payback.

Josie Koehne

Gaston

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