Vote of confidence

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Another page was added to history in the 2004 Presidential Elections when a record 60 percent of registered voters across the nation came out to re-elect President Bush for a second term.

Not since the Kennedy/Nixon elections have Americans voted in such high numbers.

The results seemed to surprise the Kerry camp, but with the key issue in this year’s election focused on moral values instead of the war on terror, Iraq, and the economy, it seems that was what boosted the vote for the President.

Whether a Democrat or a Republican, however, now that the election has been settled it is time for the nation to pull together, as only Americans can do, to support our leaders and their efforts to heal the rifts that elections always create.

Closer to home, the Albemarle Hospital Foundation deserves our vote of confidence in the efforts they are making toward helping low-income families obtain free medications.

Lisa Bailey, the patient assistant coordinator working for the Foundation through Gates County’s Department of Social Services is ready, each Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon, to assist people in getting those free prescriptions. She does everything for prospective clients, filling out paperwork and sending it off to the drug companies that offer free medications for those who truly cannot afford them. How simple can it be? She is there, waiting for clients to bring in new prescriptions for 90-days worth of medications, and a short-term prescription for about six weeks worth of medication. The short-term will be filled, most likely by Todd’s Pharmacy in Gatesville, while the 90-day script is being filled by the drug companies. Todd’s is in discussions with the Executive Director/President of the Albemarle Foundation as they work out details on the Foundation paying for the short-term supply of meds.

Thanks to the Gates County Board of Commissioners for their input of $1,000 to the Foundation to pay for meds for Gates County residents. Anyone who has any doubt as to whether they qualify for the program should definitely stop by and check it out with Ms. Bailey. She is extremely pleasant and is waiting to welcome prospective clients.

I had the pleasure recently of meeting two wonderful Gates County men; true Southern gentlemen whose lives should stand as examples to all in pursuit of a long and healthy life. Centenarian Sol Siegel and 68-year old Charlie Dildy both claim to have lived their lives off the soil of Gates County, eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and grains instead of the heavy, meat laden diets most of us consume.

They also proclaim that growing things without pesticides and herbicides is the secret to a healthy, life-giving diet.

Add to that the fact that both gentlemen have shared their life’s bounty with a host of friends and the widows of Gates, Hertford and Northampton counties, and it’s easy to see why the Lord has blessed both with good health and vitality. Maybe we could all take a second look at the foods and beverages we consume and the other items they say with which we are poisoning our systems.

Once again this week, the Gates County School System proved to be above the national norm. It was reported in national news that most school systems do not report incidents of violence and bullying and almost at the same time that report came out, Gates County High School demonstrated; they are above the norm.

Principal Charles Mason must certainly be commended for his diligence in stopping the violence at his school. He not only notified Sheriff Ed Webb when fights erupted in the first few weeks of school, but he welcomed the sheriff’s deputies into the school to maintain the peace.

Mason has consistently followed up on his decision to bring law and order to his school, jumping into the fray in one instance to help a deputy stop a fight.

Again last week, one troublemaker tested the strength of the commitment made by the principal and the sheriff. This time, the student was foolish enough to start an incident directly in front of Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Bunch who immediately brought the brawl to an instant finish. The deputy and the principal hauled the student off to the school’s office and then to jail. The deputy also charged the student, a 16-year old.

Gates County residents need to applaud such actions by the school system, the principal, and the sheriff’s office. We do not need a &uot;Columbine&uot; in our midst and as a parent (my children are grown), I say &uot;Bravo!&uot; Keep up the great work and keep our children, as well as the staff, safe. Provide them with an environment in which they can learn without fear of being injured or worse.