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Allow chickens in Lincolnton

There has been a little buss around town lately about keeping chickens in the City. The City Council will be deciding at their upcoming retreat if Lincolnton, like many other progressive towns and cities across North Carolina, will allow citizens to keep a few hens in their backyards. There are good reasons to keep chickens and some may even help our City. Here are just a few:

  1. Reduce what goes to the landfill. Feed kitchen food scraps and yard/garden wastes to the hens and reduce what the City picks up and takes to the land fill. Landfills are running out of space. We recycle our plastic and glass. Why not recycle weeds, kitchen waste, and grass clippings into garden fertilizer/compost? Hens will do that.
  2. Help grow food locally. Our very own Farmer’s Market is a part of a movement across the nation to eat more locally grown food. Backyard hens are an extension of this movement. Growing a small garden and keeping a few hens means you can have a meal of veggies and egg protein that travels steps instead of hundreds or even thousands of miles.
  3. Enlist a natural pest control patrol. Chickens eat some of our community’s nasty bug pests such as mosquitoes, fleas and ticks making our backyards naturally more pest free without the use of dangerous pesticides.

One concern that was expressed at a recent City Council meeting was the potential cost of enforcing the rules for keeping chickens in the City. I wonder if there will be any real cost increase in animal control if chickens are allowed, but I do have a suggestion to offset the costs if there are any.
The City continues to spray poison throughout our neighborhoods to kill insects during the summer months. I believe this service costs the City about $20,000 a year. The spraying program is outdated, potentially dangerous to children, elderly and those with health/breathing concerns and is also ineffective. Stop the spraying program. If the City Council wants to continue a program to protect citizens from mosquitoes, buy each household a can of mosquito repellant. It would be far safer, more effective and still save the City thousands of dollars. Either way we would have more than enough savings to pay for chicken ordinance enforcement and with money left over for other City projects.
I hope our City Council will say yes to chickens. A well written ordinance will go a long way in reducing enforcement issues. Stopping an expensive, dangerous and ineffective insect spraying program will not only help protect our health but also save the City money. The money saved can help pay for any additional animal control enforcement costs for a new ordinance allowing hens in our backyards with money leftover to help pay for other City services. Sounds like a win-win plan to me.

John M. Waters,

Robo-calls an example  of poisonous politics

On Saturday March 3rd, I received a robo-call concerning U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry. This call was a clear example of the poisonous politics of personal destruction and character assassination all too common in today’s political atmosphere.
The call typifies why so many voters are nauseated and turned off by election campaigns, politicians and government affairs.  I have since learned the calls were being made to voters throughout both Lincoln and Gaston counties.
To be clear, I am a supporter of the re-election campaign for Mr. McHenry, and I’m not ashamed to attach my name to this letter.
However, the nature and illegality of the robo-call is equally repulsive regardless of the candidate involved, the listeners political affiliation or their political philosophy.
The individual making the call identified herself only as ‘Betty (no last name)’, and her husband ‘John’, and as a good neighbor who was concerned about the May 8th primary election and wanted to share her opinions with me.
The prepared script made innuendos and suggestions concerning the Representatives personal character but never once mentioned any particular congressional issue, disagreement with Mr. McHenry’s voting record, or concerns with his performance in office. She also failed to mention any individual or ballot issue she might find more worthy of her vote.
Typical of the cowardly and unethical people who spread this muck, there was no indication of just who sent the call, or what individual, candidate, campaign, or organization was paying for the calls.
Betty twice stated that representative McHenry “is not one of us.” Well my dear ‘Betty’, I am proud to inform you that I, and I believe all decent citizens, never want to be ‘one of you’.
Our Democracy is too valuable and our election processes are too important to allow  individuals such as the caller, who hide behind anonymity, to contaminate our election processes with their filth.
These illegal merchants of slander can only be defeated by an educated and concerned citizenry. Our citizenry must hold the robo callers in proper contempt and identify the callers for just what they are.
Then our citizens should  ignore the spewed untruth’s of the calls and send to the callers messages very loud and very clear by making intelligent decisions as to the individuals and issues worthy of their vote, and then by proudly voting their beliefs.

Tom Hawk,

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