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Mooresville Tribune Menace or media hype

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					10A   MOORESVILLE TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2007                                          Viewpoint
 Mooresville
  Tribune
        A MEDIA GENERAL PUBLICATION
   P.O. BOX 300, MOORESVILLE, N.C. 28115
            ESTABLISHED IN 1932
                    DALE GOWING
                             Editor
      BUD WELCH                       SHERRY MONTERO
     Circulation Manager                  Advertising Director
NANCY BAKER News Production Editor            Member of the
KAREN KISTLER Lifestyles Editor               North Carolina
LARRY SULLIVAN Sports Editor                 Press Association



                    OUR VIEW

                 MGSD’s
                  future
O
          ur hunch is that legislation calling for
          North Carolina to fund only one public
          school district per county will get so
watered down in committee that it will eventu-
ally die.
    Our local state legislators say they oppose
Senate Bill 120, and an army of emails and let-
ters are being sent them by parents and propo-
nents of the Mooresville Graded School District
who are urging them to aggressively fight the
bill.
                                                                                                                              SCOTT HOLLIFIELD

                                                                                                       Menace or media hype?
    If passed, the bill would effectively force
Iredell’s two school districts to restructure and
become one. It could spell the end of the 102-
year-old MGSD, which could be forced to con-


                                                                 H
solidate with the Iredell-Statesville Schools. The                                                     boxing gloves beating the                 But as a card-carrying mem-       trauma that they will have to set-
                                                                          ey, kids, helmet boxing
latter was created in 1991 when the Statesville                                                        absolute dog snot out of each         ber of the media and a role           tle for lesser occupations, such
                                                                          isn’t cool. There. I’ve
City Schools and Iredell County Schools                                                                other and, knowing that would         model to our nation’s youth, I        as journalism.
                                                                          jumped on the media
merged.                                                                                                make for good television,             still have the obligation to sound
                                                                 bandwagon and spoken out on                                                                                          I know it’s tempting, but if
    Or, how about this scenario: The I-SS merges                 what’s being called a “dangerous      labeled it a “dangerous new           the alarm whenever something          someone says, “Put on this plas-
into the MGSD (and changes its name to some-                     new trend” among the school-          trend” and drummed up a few           is labeled a dangerous new            tic helmet and I will beat the
thing reflecting the entire county). Why merger                  age set.                              neurosurgeons to explain that         trend. That’s why I’ve come up
the larger district into the smaller one? The                                                                                                                                      absolute dog snot out of you,”
                                                                    In helmet boxing, two young        brain damage is a bad thing.          with this public service message,
MGSD has taxing authority, the I-SS does not.                                                                                                                                      just say no.
                                                                 opponents put on a hockey or          That way, they get to show the        which I hope to distribute to
Residents within the MGSD pay a special school                                                         videos of teenagers beating the       every impressionable child:              If someone says, “Let’s have a
                                                                 bike helmet and
tax of 13.5 cents per $100 of property valuation.                                                      absolute dog snot out of each                                               rock fight,” just say no.
                                                                 boxing       gloves                                                             Hi, kids. I’m Scott Hollifield,
The MGSD taking in the I-SS might allow that                     and beat the ab-                      other.                                the guy from that newspaper              If someone says, “I’m gonna
school tax to be extended across the county,                     solute dog snot                                                             you don’t read. I want to talk        hit you in the head with this
                                                                                                          Try as I might, I just can’t get
thereby creating a huge new source of capital for                out of each other.                                                          about a dangerous new trend           chair like Abdullah the Butcher
                                                                                                       worked up over helmet boxing.
the new school district.                                                                                                                     sweeping the country. It’s called     hit Wahoo in the cage match,”
                                                                    I learned of                       It may be news to some people,
    That would surely make our county commis-                    this dangerous                        but kids are programmed by            helmet boxing. Maybe you’ve           just say “huh?” because you’re
sioners happy, since they would face less annual                 new trend after                       nature to do stupid things. I         been thinking about trying it.        probably too young to remem-
pressure to pump more money into the schools.                    seeing reports on                     recall these phrases from my          Maybe you have a friend who’s         ber the Madman from the
                                                                                       Hollifield
    Obviously, that’s all conjecture and specula-                both CNN and                          childhood:                            tried it and says, “Helmet boxing     Sudan.
tion and we have no idea if state law would even                 FOX News. On Monday, the San             “Let’s have a rock fight.”         is where it’s at, daddy-o.” Well,        If someone says, “Before
allow such a scenario. And the reality is many                   Antonio Express-News warned,                                                helmet boxing isn’t “where it’s       Daddy takes that mattress to the
county residents would rail against the addition-                                                         “I’m gonna hit you in the          at.” It isn’t “cool” or “groovy” or
                                                                 “Dangerous helmet boxing                                                                                          dump, let’s pull it over here and
al tax.                                                          growing in popularity.” On            head with this chair like             the “bee’s knees.” In fact, it’s
                                                                                                       Abdullah the Butcher hit Wahoo                                              jump off the roof,” do it, because
    But that is about the only way a merger of                   Tuesday, WCBS-TV in New York                                                “whacked.”                            that was AWESOME!
                                                                 cautioned, “Helmet boxing: A          in the cage match.”
school districts could work for Mooresville. The                                                                                                 Every day across this nation,
                                                                 dangerous new craze for teens.”          “Before Daddy takes that                                                    So, remember kids, helmet
MGSD is a district that many people purpose-                                                                                                 hundreds if not thousands of
                                                                 On Wednesday, ABC News called         mattress to the dump, let’s pull it                                         boxing isn’t cool. That’s why the
fully move into because of its small size, good                                                                                              teenagers are admitted to emer-
                                                                 it the “Kids version of Fight         over here and jump off the roof.”                                           news shows those videos over
teachers and its ability to meet pressing capital                                                                                            gency rooms with helmet-box-
needs because of the school tax.                                 Club.”                                   And, a few decades later, I        ing induced HTADSBOFT                 and over and over.
    The amount of money the state says it would                     “Sweet mother of pearl!” I         have no ill effects from ... what     (Having The Absolute Dog Snot
save each year by eliminating double districts in                cried. “It’s a dangerous new          was I just thinking about?            Beaten Out Of Them).                     Scott Hollifield is editor/gener-
15 N.C. counties is a cumulative $12 million. But                trend!”                                  Anyway, the only difference is         That’s hundreds if not thou-      al manager of The McDowell
that’s not significant enough to disrupt the                        More likely, media outlets         our stupidity didn’t end up on        sands of potential doctors,           News in Marion, a sister paper of
strong educational landscape in good districts                   found videos on YouTube of            the Internet. Al Gore hadn’t          lawyers and tug boat captains         the Tribune. Contact him at:
such as the MGSD.                                                teenagers in plastic helmets and      invented it yet.                      whose brains have suffered such       rhollifield@mcdowellnews.com



                      LETTERS                                                                                                 MARSHA MERCER
       TOWN NEEDS TO HEAR CONCERNS
      OF SHOPPING CENTER’S OPPONENTS
                                                                               The Statue of Liberty steps into Immigration Act
                                                                 W
                                                                            ASHINGTON – Section        immigrants who have a better              The colossus in New York har-     to reopen the crown. He says
   In the last month, I have attended two meet-                                                        education and job skills, it also     bor was immediately a big hit.        tourists are disappointed at
ings concerning the conditional rezoning of the                             776 of the immigration
                                                                            bill is obscure, to say    will decide whether to permit         The torch has been closed since       being stopped short of the
corner of Rocky River and Shearers roads for the                                                       visitors to trudge once again to      an act of sabotage during World
                                                                 the least.                                                                                                        crown. The Senate agreed to the
establishment of a Food Lion grocery store and                                                                                               War I blew up an ammunition
                                                                     Senators aren’t debating it,      the top of the premier symbol of                                            measure as an amendment to
other unspecified businesses. I live near the
                                                                 bloggers aren’t railing about it,     American hope.                        dump on a nearby island.              last year’s immigration bill, and
planned development and will be affected by it.
                                                                 and chatterers aren’t fulminat-           The matter of the crown lacks         Then came 9/11/01. Liberty        it’s back.
   At the planning board meeting various issues
                                                                 ing over the provision tucked in      the economic import of picking        Island reopened 100 days later,           But the National Park Service
were brought up about the proposed conditional
                                                                 “Subtitle F – Other Matters”          the right number of guest work-       and visitors returned to the          has kept the crown closed for
rezoning. These issues included the increased
                                                                 under “Title III –                    ers. It isn’t as emotionally laden    Statue of Liberty on Aug. 3, 2004.    other reasons. The crown, so to
traffic; one figure that was mentioned was an
additional 2,700 cars coming into the commer-                    Miscellaneous”                        as how to cope with 12 million        Since then, they’ve taken the         speak, hung heavy. It was a
cial development each day.                                       of the mammoth                        immigrants here illegally. But as     views from an outside observa-        headache.
                                                                 bill.                                 metaphor or practical matter, it      tion deck at the top of the               “The stairs were never meant
   Another issue is the estimated 50-100 trucks a                                                                                            pedestal, directly under the feet
                                                                     So here’s the                     illustrates why getting to yes on                                           for visitors,” said Darren Boch, a
week which will supply the Food Lion and, which                                                                                              of the statue. The 19-inch, dou-
                                                                 story behind one                      immigration is so hard. Nothing                                             park       service    spokesman.
route will they travel to reach the site. Will they                                                                                          ble helix spiral staircase to the
                                                                 little paragraph in                   in the “Comprehensive Im-                                                   Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi cre-
travel N.C. 3 to Kistler Farm Road and then Rocky                                                                                            crown is off-limits.
River or just Rocky River Road? Would it go                      a sweeping bill                       migration Reform Act of 2007” is                                            ated the statue originally as a
around Johnson Dairy Road? Will the bridges and                  that could change                     simple.                                   Some lawmakers think the          lighthouse, and the stairs were
                                                                 the way America         Mercer            A bit of history: the Statue of   closure sends the wrong mes-          meant for maintenance, Boch
the roads support the weight and volume of
these trucks?                                                    welcomes immi-                        Liberty was a gift in 1886 from       sage and it’s time for change.        said.
                                                                 grants in the 21st Century.           the people of France to com-          Section 776, “Public Access to
   We were told at the end of the planning board                                                                                                                                       Instead, thousands of tourists
                                                                     The Statue of Liberty has         memorate our friendship during        the Statue of Liberty,” reads: “No    traipsed up and down. The
meeting that these issues would be heard and
                                                                 symbolized hope for waves of          the Revolutionary War. It was         later than 60 days after enact-       cramped staircase allowed peo-
addressed at the town board meeting on May 7.
At that meeting, commissioners did say that the                  newcomers – tired, poor, hud-         intended to celebrate the cen-        ment of this act, the Secretary of    ple to discover claustrophobic
speed limit on Rocky River Road might be                         dled, yearning to breathe free        tennial celebration in 1876, but      Interior shall ensure that all per-   tendencies they didn’t know
changed from 45 to 35 mph.                                       and start a new life.                 it took a while to raise the          sons who satisfy reasonable and
                                                                                                                                                                                   they had as they walked up the
                                                                     Section 776 literally would       money. The French donated             appropriate security measures
   Before the public hearing part of the meeting                                                                                                                                   354 steps.
                                                                 reopen the statue’s crown, which      money to build the copper edi-        shall have full access to the pub-
we were told that speakers could not voice opin-                                                                                             lic areas of the Statue of Liberty        After many medical emergen-
ions, only facts which could be proven. This                     has been closed since the 9/11        fice, and Americans, prodded by
                                                                 terrorist attacks. How’s that for a                                         including the crown and the           cies, the park service was con-
effectively silenced the concerns and opinions of                                                      editorials in “The World,” the
                                                                 metaphor for the new normal?                                                stairs leading to the crown.”         sidering closing the crown even
the opposition to the proposed development.                                                            newspaper owned by Joseph
                                                                 As Congress weighs tightening                                                                                     before 9/11.
                                                                                                       Pulitzer, contributed for the             Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.,
                                      See LETTERS on Page 11A    border security and seeking           pedestal.                             is among lawmakers who want                         See MERCER on Page 11A

                                                ‘I may disagree with what you say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.’ - Voltaire

				
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