News-Star: Opinion

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Help stop the pipeline

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a bad deal for North Carolina, and in spite of Duke and Dominion’s slick, big-money push to rush it through, it will not go unchallenged.

Their high-pressure gas-transmission pipeline, behind schedule and still lacking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, is coming under increasing fire as North Carolina communities and landowners learn the full extent of the harms it would cause. Eastern North Carolinians in particular are vulnerable to having their land surveyed and trenched against their will while being forced to accept permanent company rights-of-way and restrictions.

To tell the truth about the pipeline – its threats to health and safety, residential property values, local tax revenue, agricultural land, healthy air and clean water – an alliance of groups representing interests of private property owners, churches, conservationists, electricity rate-payers and county planners is sponsoring a two-week-long walk along the entire proposed route of the pipeline. It’s being called The Walk to Protect Our People and the Places We Live (Stop The Pipeline).

Walkers began March 4 in Northampton County on the state line. On Saturday, March 11, they will begin their day in Selma and pass through Smithfield.

Whether they walk one mile or two hundred, participation in the Walk is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the pipeline and how to fight it. More information is available at www.2017acpwalk.org.

Greg Yost

Mars Hill

Cost is a consideration

The recent discussion about moving the Johnston County jail and law-enforcement Center needs to be reviewed by determining the cost of operation at a rural site as compared to a site next to the courthouse.

Johnston County is expanding rapidly, and monies are needed in many directions. Our public schools are built on borrowed money, and we need more operating monies to support teacher salaries and expanded education opportunities. Education is a big part of our county budget, and education is the pathway for success for our students, business and industry.

It could cost between $1 million and $2 million per year to operate a remote location for the jail as opposed to expanding the jail in Smithfield. It could mean two staffs, two kitchens, two headquarters and numerous vehicles and deputies to transport prisoners back and forth to the courthouse.

The Johnston County Board of Commissioners needs to weigh the cost to the taxpayers and not a vision of an expensive campus for the law enforcement center and other county offices.

Ross W. Lampe

Smithfield

From many, we are one

What follows is my reaction to the Feb. 5 commentary, “America should embrace diversity, not tribalism,” by Ned Walsh.

It has been my experience that the embracers of diversity and inclusion celebrate diversity as long as you agree with them. Hold a view diverse from theirs, however, and you will find that their version of inclusion does not include you.

Celebration of diversity is exclusionary by its own nature, not inclusionary as envisioned by the author. Emphasis on the recognition of our diversity should be secondary to the emphasis on recognition of our unity.

Ironically, carried to their reasonable conclusion, either way results in the very tribalism eschewed by the author.

Our national motto, which is currently being too easily overlooked, is e pluribus unum, orfrom many, one,” not e unum, pluribus, “from one, many”. We are still the United States of America, not the Diversified States of America some seem so eager to create.

Jeffrey A. Thomas

Benson

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