Opinion (415)

Monday, 24 September 2018 05:01

Statement by State Representative Ken Goodman

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ROCKINGHAM - State Representative Ken Goodman (D-HD-66) said he will support Governor Roy Cooper’s call for a special session of the State Legislature in October to deal with Hurricane Florence recovery. 

"I support Governor Cooper's decision to call the General Assembly back into session on October 9th.  There is so much to do in Richmond, Stanly, and Montgomery counties to remove debris, repair roads, check dams, restore basic services, and get schools running again.  It's time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to tackle these many challenges."



Legislative Building | 16 West Jones Street | Raleigh, NC 27601 | 919-715-3015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                       Contact: Libby Spain
Thursday – September 20, 2018


Raleigh, NC:  Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Richmond) released a statement on Thursday after receiving an update on disaster declaration requests for Moore, Richmond, and Scotland Counties in response to Hurricane Florence:


“I’m pleased to hear that Governor Cooper has requested a major disaster declaration for Moore, Richmond, and Scotland counties. I am optimistic that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will quickly grant this request so that our citizens affected by Hurricane Florence can gain access to critical FEMA services necessary to get them back on their feet and begin the recovery process of rebuilding their communities. I hope that Anson and Stanly counties will be included in the next round of requests so they too can get the help they need.”

As I watched WCTI news anchor Valentina Wilson give a tour of the station live on Facebook on Wednesday, I felt a few bits of moisture start to well up on the inside corners of my eyes.

The storm-driven adrenaline had worn off.

No longer could I see the devastation wrought in my hometown by Hurricane Florence with nerves of steel.

I spent six and a half years of my professional career at that station before coming to Richmond County. Most of that time was as a video editor, but I also ran the sound board, rolled video, operated the teleprompter and cameras in the studio, newsroom and out in the field.

During my time there, we went through several hurricanes. The most memorable one was Irene in 2011, when I was stuck at work for three days during wall-to-wall coverage helping, in my many capacities, to give updates on the storm.

When I finally got to go home, the power was still out and I had to go to someone else’s house to take a shower.

It’s one thing to see storm damage in a place you’ve never been.

It’s quite another to see familiar places partially destroyed or under several feet of water.

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – State Representative Ken Goodman praised relief workers, volunteers, and first responders who have been working diligently during and following the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.  “I can’t begin to express the gratitude our citizens have for all the hard work and effort so many people are providing to help those who have been touched by this devastating storm,” said Rep. Goodman.

“While we have weathered the storm, clean-up is just in its early phases.  Recovery will take a period of time, months if not years.  I have talked with the Governor and with state Emergency Management Officials to coordinate assistance and attention in our local communities that have been impacted by the storm,” said Rep. Goodman.

Editor’s note:  Given the state of emergency and consequent need for dissemination of immediate information during Hurricane Florence, Congressman Pittenger’s statement in recognition of the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was not posted on the designated date last week.  The Richmond Observer wishes to offer Congressman Pittenger due appreciation for his statement and is thus posting such as a delayed publication.

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) released this statement as he reflected on the 17th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks: 

“We forget how complacent America had become, confident in a false sense of peace and security that was shattered at 8:46 a.m. on September 11th.  Yet 17 years later, some are once again becoming complacent, with foolish calls to abolish ICE and American companies selling critical technology to foreign adversaries.

HAMLET - “I doubt … whether any convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better constitution; for, when you assemble a number of men, to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views.  From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected?  It therefore astonishes me, sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does.” – Benjamin Franklin, addressing the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787 

Today, 17 September 2018, is the 231st anniversary of the signing and promulgation of our United States Constitution.  While commemoration of this date may or may not be on your list of priorities (surveys indicate that fully one-third of college graduates cannot even identify the Bill of Rights as a name given to the first group of Constitutional amendments and that nearly 10% of them think that Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court [American Council of Trustees and Alumni, September, 2015], so odds are that many of us are similarly unaware of the significance of Constitution Day), it would behoove us all to perhaps take a cursory glance into the history of this document. 

So, exactly what does (or should) our Constitution mean to us, and why bother thinking about it in the first place?  Well, for starters, how about our basic rights and liberties, all of which are (quite unfortunately) generally taken for granted?  Indifference to such things by our founding fathers would have certainly resulted in a much different life for all of us.

The U.S. Constitution has now persevered for over two centuries, preserving the rights and freedoms that are deemed to be just as important now as they were over two-hundred years ago.  But the cited remarks of the venerable Benjamin Franklin notwithstanding, the Constitution itself has had to adjust and acclimate to the changing times of our society’s history.  Its image of strength and stability has been tested throughout our nation’s development; our “Constitutional liberties” have not always been what they are today.  Alas, dare I say it:  The U.S. constitution has never been perfect.  

What is a “constitution” but a general standard by which laws, regulations, policies, rules, customs, mores, folkways, etc., are to be measured and subsequently adopted or rejected?  Just as is true with all such things, compromises have historically exemplified the rule rather than the exception; our U.S. Constitution is a prime example of such. 

The original precipitating mindset that resulted in the formulating of our “new” Constitution did not commence that way at all; rather, a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen states (Rhode Island did not participate) “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation” - our original “constitution” that had been in place for over six years - was the objective of the fifty-five delegates who convened in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall in May of 1787.  But it was soon apparent that an entirely new approach to government was in order. 

But even this new and improved document was not without controversial “issues.”  While well-constructed and seemingly balanced in the application of powers, serious omissions remained.  The addition of the Bill of Rights (i.e., the first ten amendments) in 1791 helped to solidify the credibility of this new document in the minds of the respective states, but it would still take another two centuries of adjustments before many of the glaring problems could be alleviated.  Constitutional amendments were subsequently required to address issues with the Electoral College; slavery; women’s rights; voting age requirements; poll taxes; length of time between the presidential election and the inauguration; number of terms permitted for a president; succession to the presidency and vice-presidency; societal usage of alcohol; etc.  

So yes, our Constitution has indeed served as the proverbial beacon of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as embodied in our Declaration of Independence, but it has not been without significant difficulties, ongoing debates, active social struggles, deadly violence between political factions, and even a “war between the states” that have all characterized our society’s continuous efforts to ensure that our country is truly represented by a “government of the people.”   

No, the Constitution has never been quite as “perfect” as Ben Franklin proclaimed it to be on this date 231 years ago, but … what would our life in the United States be like without it? 

Happy Constitution Day, America!  

HAMLET – With the imminent approach of Hurricane Florence commanding our attention, perhaps a brief review of some of the most memorable storms to affect our area is in order.

Although historical records of hurricane hits along the coast of the Carolinas cannot be deemed to be complete (official denotations have been kept only since 1851), meteorologists and amateur weather-watchers have attempted to document such events for hundreds of years.

According to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller, only seven “major” hurricanes have actually hit our immediate coast between Savannah and Cape Hatteras in the past 140 years.  This surprisingly low number must be offset by the sheer amount of damage and loss of life incurred in conjunction with these monster storms.

ROCKINGHAM - As part of the ongoing mission of the Richmond Observer to provide expansive coverage of current events, we offer the following news release from State Representative Ken Goodman:

Please take appropriate steps right now to protect yourself, your family and your property from the potential impact of Hurricane Florence.  Pay attention to local weather advisories and tune into local news media outlets for bulletins and information on the hurricane. 

During this storm, I will suspend my campaign activities until the storm passes.

Raleigh, N.C. – Beginning in 2014 when they provided teachers the largest raise in the country, legislative Republicans have taken historic steps to raise educator pay in North Carolina. In the last five years, Republicans have enacted five consecutive pay raises, and teacher salary increases have been at or near the highest in the nation for three of those years. 

The average base salary for a teacher in North Carolina increased by $8,700, or nearly 20 percent, since the 2014 school year. More than 40,000 teachers – close to half of all public school teachers in the state – will have received at least a $10,000 pay raise by the 2018-19 school year. In fact, over a 30-year career, a teacher will earn $237,200 more on the 2018-19 salary schedule than he or she would have earned under the old Democrat plan.

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