<![if !vml]><![endif]> Readers Comments  <![if !vml]><![endif]> 

Updated: 5/1/2009 6:21 PM






From: Janell Wakefield [mailto:assoc_j@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Friday, May 01, 2009 12:41 PM
To: Zofar Khan; Wayne Warren; Viggers Bill; Trudy Bradshaw; Tom Mis; Susan Arrowood; Starla; Sherry Vines; sharon Huss; Shannan Hurt; Selig Appraisals; Nick Saturno; Nancy Roper; Melissa Gates; Laura Ervin Mulwee; Kevin Nadeau; Keith Conley; Kathy Olsen, AE Burke County Board; JoLynn Sibole; johnbuff@att.net; jim toner; Jim Fowler; Jerry Clark; hiltons4christ@bellsouth.net; HELEN.SHEPPARD@wellsfargo.com; Heather & Mark Sossoman; Heath Huggins; Debbie Triplett; debbe.perry@carolinaproperty.com; David A. Wheeling, REALTOR; Dave Tubergen; Cat Thompson; Carolina Property GMAC Real Estate; Carol Bostian; C. Shane Cook; Bridget Blackwell; bettyelay@yahoo.com; Bakh; Anne Hope Thomas; Anderson, Lee; Ande Meyers; Al Tinnin
Subject: Fw: Urgent - Please Read!!!


 ----- Original Message -----

From: lisa dooley

To: April Hullette ; Brenda Cruise ; Brenda Wellman ; Cindy ; Dawn Perry ; Deanna Childres ; Deanne Causby ; Floyd ; Geraldine ; Janell ; Monica Wakefield ; Raven ; Spring Mckinney ; Stacey Ripley ; Tammy Lail

Sent: Friday, May 01, 2009 11:46 AM

Subject: FW: Urgent - Please Read!!!


From: cloudmarketing@bellsouth.net
To: amyhem@yahoo.com; dnakirk@bellsouth.net; awilson@blueridgehealth.org; mffiore@bellsouth.net; betzsteele@yahoo.com; billvaassen@charter.net; mrsyoung@earthlink.net; tkyrpill@bellsouth.net;


From: KELLY GESSNER [mailto:kellygessner@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Friday, May 01, 2009 9:05 AM
To: Laura Bailey; Liz Beach; Brooke Bonfield; Andy and Nikki Brant; Krista Davis; Sun Ellertson; Amy Evans; Guy Evans;

--- On Thu, 4/30/09, Laurie Hopkins <lauriehopkins@directus.net> wrote:

From: Laurie Hopkins <lauriehopkins@directus.net>
Subject: Fw: Urgent - Please Read!!!
To: "Anne Wilson" <jdwilson@compascable.net>, "Sheri Watts" <swatts@smithmillerbuffcpa.com>, "Thurman" <Thurman@directus.net>, "Catherine Thomas" <catherinetnc@msn.com>, "Nancy Taylor"  <

Hello all,

I am forwarding this email to you with Sheriff John McDevitt's written permission.  He assured me it could be forwarded to anyone. Please forward to as many people as possible to get concerned parents, taxpayers, and voters at the meeting coming up on Monday May 4 at 5:15 pm at PATTON HIGH SCHOOL!

Laurie H. Hopkins
201 Woodland Drive
Morganton, NC 28655


----- Original Message -----

From: John McDevitt

To: lauriehopkins@directus.net

Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 10:23 PM

Subject: RE: Urgent - Please Read!!!



I met with Tracy Norman and Jon Jones this morning. They are convinced that David Burleson has no more than several hundred supporters and although they didn't say it, I am also sure that they are convinced this shall pass.
Chief Tolbert and myself facilitated a meeting with Tracy Norman, Jon Jones, the city and county attorney and the city and county managers. We as the law enforcement executives in this county agreed that there must be changes in how this board was conducting business in order to facilitate the safety of all involved.
This morning we gave our guidelines to Tracy and Jon that we believe will increase security for all involved. It is hard to believe, however they were not very receptive to our suggestions initiallyWe then advised them that they did not have to follow our guidelines, however if they chose not to follow them they would need to make other arrangements for security because we would not be there.
1. Move to a larger venue-preferably Patton High School.
2. Allow unlimited public comment.
There were many other areas that we discussed. They want the audience held to a certain standard of behavior, I advised them that the Board would be held to that same standard.
It is sad that we would have to force the school board to agree to these seemingly common sense items, however we did have to virtually force them.
The meeting lasted for over an hour and many other security issues were discussed.
I write you to make you aware of this, as I said earlier they are convinced that David has no more than several hundred supporters and convinced that this shall pass.
You must work as hard as possible to show them that they are wrong and hopefully have 2,000 people at the next meeting instead of 200.
I have probably already said much more than I should have, however I feel very strongly about fairness and have a strong belief that good shall overcome.
Please help me pack Patton High School and and show these elected officials that they are not representing the people of this county.
Sheriff John T. McDevitt

PS. You can forward this to anyone you wish.  I believe strongly enough in David Burleson to attach my career to his.

From: lauriehopkins@directus.net
To: jdwilson@compascable.net; swatts@smithmillerbuffcpa.com; avogler@burke.k12.nc.us; Thurman@directus.net; janehtate@yahoo.com; acgs56@yahoo.com; slbsuccop@bellsouth.net; mmmstrep@yahoo.com; Libby.Stephens@carolinaproperty.com; nsmith@compascable.net; ssholar@compascable.net; scottdavis@electronic-depot.net; settlemyer@bellsouth.net; Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 22:01:35 -0400

Please read Catherine's blog about Clayton County losing their school accreditation and how it came about---look at how easily it could happen here!  Please forward to all you can!!!

Laurie H. Hopkins
201 Woodland Drive
Morganton, NC 28655

It has been brought to our attention that SACS CASI has sent a letter to the Burke County School Board that threatens the accreditation of our schools.  I have not seen the letter, and I am waiting for the News Herald to publish it.  Please go to
http://www2.morganton.com/content/2009/apr/30/burke-county-schools-risk-losing-accreditation/news-local/  for more information.  Hopefully the SACS CASI letter will be printed tomorrow.

 Losing accreditation would be a disaster for our county.  To read more about how the Clayton County Georgia school system lost their accreditation, please look at my blog - www.barkburke.com and scroll down to "Clayton County, Are We on Our Way?"
With the attention that our school board has drawn from all over the South, it was only a matter of time before someone  (NCAE?  State Board?  Disgruntled Employees?) contacted the SACS CASI.  
I have not recieved any response from Mr. Jones or Mr. Burleson regarding my request to hold the meeting at an adequate venue.
If you plan to come to the school board meeting, please call or fax the central office - superintendant's office - and demand that the meeting be held at a larger venue than the board room.  This board has gone way too far.
Central Office
Phone:  828-439-4312    Fax:  828-439-4314

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From: Jim Broadus [mailto:jimb@hiscommunications.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 10:36 AM
Subject: FW: This guy says it all


Subject: Fwd: This guy says it all


This is the best I've seen it written.  Those of us with fathers, husbands, wives and children who have served our country should make sure the president doesn't get elected again.  I'm saving this so I can send it around again in 4 years.  Someone should get this to BO and make him read it several times a day.

Arrogant Americans, Mr. President?

Peter Heck - Guest Columnist - 4/14/2009 7:50:00

<![if !vml]>Peter Heck<![endif]>As I was sitting in church waiting for the start of the service, my grandpa came walking towards me pointing his finger.  No matter how old I get, and no matter how long he's been out of the U.S. Navy, that's still an intimidating sight.  As he approached me, his voice quivered as he said, "We saved that continent twice...how dare my president apologize for this country's arrogance."  My grandpa is right.  Americans need not apologize to the world for their arrogance; rather, Americans should apologize to their forefathers for the arrogance of their president.


Barack Obama's first foreign trip as President of the United States has confirmed the naiveté so many of us feared during the election cycle.  But worse than that, it has also demonstrated that our president suffers from either a complete misunderstanding of our heritage and history, or an utter contempt for it.  Neither is excusable.


Garnering cheers from the French of all people, President Obama declared, "In America , there is a failure to appreciate Europe 's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."  Consider that Obama spoke these words just 500 miles from the beaches of Normandy , where the sand is still stained with 65-year-old blood of "arrogant Americans."


Indeed, columnist Mark Whittington observes, "One should remind Mr. Obama and the Europeans how America has 'shown arrogance' by saving Europe from itself innumerable times in the 20th Century.  World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the wars in the Balkans were largely resolved by American blood, treasure, and leadership."  But all that appears lost on the president's seemingly insatiable quest to mend fences he imagines have been tarnished by the bullish George W. Bush.


If Obama wishes to continue trampling the presidential tradition of showing class to former office holders and publicly trash Bush for his own personal gain, so be it.  But all Americans should make clear that no man – even if he is the president – will tarnish the legacy of those Americans who have gone before us.  Ours is not a history of arrogance.  It is a history of courage, self-sacrifice, and honor.


When abusive monarchs repressed the masses, Americans resisted and overthrew them.  When misguided policies led to the unjust oppression of fellow citizens, Americans rebelled and overturned them.  When millions of impoverished and destitute wretches sought a new beginning, Americans threw open the door and welcomed them.  When imperial dictators were on the march, Americans surrendered their lives to stop them.  When communist thugs threatened world peace, Americans bled to defeat them.  When an entire continent was overwhelmed with famine and hunger, Americans gave of themselves to sustain it.  When terrorist madmen killed the innocent and subjugated millions, Americans led the fight to topple them.


This is the legacy that generations of Americans have left.  If President Obama seeks stronger relations with the world community, perhaps he should begin by reminding them of these very truths, rather than condemning his own countrymen on foreign shores.


This "obsessive need to put down his own country," has caused blogger James Lewis to call President Obama a "stunningly ignorant man" who has evidently never spoken to a concentration camp survivor, a Cuban refugee, a boat person from Vietnam, a Soviet dissident, or a survivor of Mao's purges.


Unfortunately, I can no longer bring myself to give Mr. Obama that benefit of the doubt.  Not after looking at the pain in my grandpa's eyes...a man who still carries shrapnel in his body from his service to this country.


As a student and teacher of history, I recognize that America has made mistakes...plenty of them, in fact.  But one of the great things about our people has been their courage and humility in admitting and correcting those mistakes.  God willing, they will prove that willingness again in four years and correct the mistake that is the presidency of Barack Obama.




From:    doug@directus.net

Date:    Mon, February 16, 2009 11:56 pm

Accuforce Temp Service Sucks.

They say that they help find you a job.  All they do, is give you a hard time.  I have been registered with them since summer.  They have never found me job. 

Now they have this new behavior test.  You get one chance at taking it.  If you fail it you are screwed.  I did not pass the test.  Now they are saying they cannot find me a job. 

You do not get a second chance at taking the test.  They no longer can find you work.  Folks I would not recommend Accuforce at finding you a job.  They will waste your time. 

I thought this new president is suppose to help people find jobs. This temp service is finding a way to eliminate people for jobs. 

Folks stay clear of Accuforce Temp Service.  They will let you down and pull you down.  They can go jump in a lake and drown for all I care.


          Have a nice day


Doug Greene





From: Rob Hairfield [mailto:rhairfield@compascable.net]
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 2:35 PM
<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>



If I asked you who was James A. Michener, most of you would say, "He's a famous author."  If I asked you who was Sam Thompson, most of you would say, "Sam who?"


Yet Sam Thompson would be the perfect subject for a Reader's Digest article as, "The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met."  The common thread that binds the well known to the unknown is the story behind the story and the reason for this writing.


It could be called the dawning of the "Age of Camelot."  That is to say it was the spring and summer of 1960, and a Senator from Massachusetts was campaigning for the Presidency.  Michener decided to write a book about the grassroots movement in his home county as to the people involved in the area at the time.


Michener lived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which is in the Southeastern corner of the state about thirty-five miles out of Philadelphia as you go toward Allentown.  It is a lot like Burke County in that it has low rolling hills and lots of rural farmland with many small towns scattered throughout.  It even has a waterway through it known as the Tohickon (ToeHEkon) Creek, much like our Catawba River but smaller.  The creek today is part of a protected waterway and public park due in part to the efforts of; you guessed it, Sam Thompson.  But that's another story.


Michener's book was called, "The Report of the County Chairman."  He describes his first encounter with Sam saying, "...he was in his late fifties, with a big grin and a trench coat flapping in the breeze, and I was soon to find out you could depend on Sam for everything from duct tape to a sound truck."


One story in the book was how one day when Sam came in the office, everyone was upset over the fact the Republicans had rented the biggest building in town right on the main street where everyone would see it daily, while the Democrat headquarters was in a shopping center on the edge of town.  Well, Sam puffed up and said, "That will never do", and off he went.


He returned a few hours later and reported that the Republicans were moving their headquarters to a less noticeable location.  Michener asked Sam, "How'd you do it?"  There came the reply, "It's a matter of fire inspection.  I told them the building wasn't up to code and posed a problem, and we certainly didn't want any of our good Republicans to burn up if anything happened, so they agreed to move."  Michener said, "I didn't know you were a fire inspector, Sam."  Again Sam replied, "I'm not, but they didn't know whether or not I was a fire inspector either."


Now Sam wasn't limited to just political talents.  He also was involved with early experimental theater in the United States. Prior to WWII, Sam got into a group known as The Provincetown Players and helped Eugene O'Neill put on some of his plays.  Sam was in the original cast of "Emperor Jones" and later helped bring the play to the Broadway stage and gave a young actor his first leading role.  The actor's name was Moss Hart.


Michener asked Sam, "How'd you get into politics?"  Sam's reply was, "Oh, I've always looked at politics as just another road show.  You need a press agent, a production chief, a star, and a master of legerdemain."


I was on board attack aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk en route to Vietnam when I found out that on January 1st, 1969, Sam Thompson had passed away.  So for a brief moment on each New Year's Day I think about that man I read about in Michener's book.  You probably won't find the book in the library, and I am here to say that I won't lend the book to just anyone because it is a first edition, and it was autographed by the author.  But that isn't the real reason I'm partial to the book.  The real reason is it was also signed by Sam Thompson.


You see, Sam Thompson was my 'Uncle Sam', and he was truly one of the most unforgettable characters I ever met.






From: RJ Dillion [mailto:rjdillion@yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 11:40 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: surcharge



   We're sorry to bother you, however this galls us.  We had company over this evening and we called out for dinner.  We called Piccolo's Pizza @ 915 N. West St. Lenoir.  We ordered 2 pizza's one for 11.00 and one for 15.00, a total of 26.00(tax included).  They called back and said they made a mistake it was 30 dollars &change?  We called back & inquired as to the difference.  We charge a delivery fee of 4.50.How much does the driver get we asked?  3.00 they replied.  What is the extra 1.50 for?  The store they said because we pay the driver 6.75 an hr and they are gone that amount of time....  U mean I’m paying the hourly pay for the driver to deliver?  No the owner says I have two other stores in Chicago and that is what we charge.  What about a tip?  You can tip if you want to he says.  Our drivers work inside as well as deliver and so we charge for their time away from the store. 

     My point is the inside help waits on customers the same as drivers; We called Domino's and got the same size pizza's with toppings delivered for the same distance and saved 5.00.

 A delivery fee should be for (DELIVERY) if the store is keeping part of it they should publish that with the order and on all menus as well as advertisements.  We did call three other places and all three stated a DRIVER fee in their orders.  Two of which have no dine in. 

 Is it fair to charge a fee for delivery and take away from a possible tip for the driver or state you charge the customer a percentage for your time to deliver?   We think the driver should get the fee, or stay inside and save their time and gas, wear & tear etc.

 PS: a delivery going to a town business such as water dept. has no fee.



From: Rob Hairfield [mailto:rhairfield@compascable.net]

Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 5:26 PM

Subject: Giap's Memoirs.


Giap's Memoirs


(Gen. Giap was a very famous and knowledgeable General in the North Vietnamese Army.)


<![if !vml]>cid:2781050632000000@web81105.mail.mud.yahoo.com<![endif]>

General Vo Nguyen Giap


General Giap was a brilliant, highly respected leader of the North Vietnam military. The following quote is from his memoirs currently found in the Vietnam War memorial in Hanoi:


"What we still don't understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi.  You had us on the ropes.  If you had pressed us a little harder, just for another day or two, we were ready to surrender!  It was the same at the battles of TET.  You defeated us!  We knew it, and we thought you knew it.  But we were elated to notice your media was definitely helping us.  They were causing more disruption in America than we could in the battlefields.  We were ready to surrender.  You had won!"


General Giap has published his memoirs and confirmed what most Americans knew.  The Vietnam War was not lost in Vietnam -- it was lost at home.  The exact same slippery slope, sponsored by the US media, is currently well underway.  It exposes the enormous power of a biased media to cut out the heart and will of the American public.


A truism worthy of note: Do not fear the enemy, for they can take only your life.  Fear the media far more, for they will destroy your honor.


It seems the same thing is happening with the battle for Iraq...


ED:  I Concur.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Clinton [mailto:slickwilly7@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 22, 2007 2:42 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: fools


    You know my wife has been attacked by many people during the

course of her campaign and It gets to Chelsea and me. Your website is

worse than moveon.org filled with lies and trash. You are probably

lying about your service record as no man of honor and valor would

post such filth. If you are a former serviceman you must be one of

Satan's angels as a Christian would not distort the truth or have as

much hate in ones heart as you do for Jim Richardson. The time you

must invest in your blog could surely be put to better use...so

helping your community through volunteer work with our teen issues???

or maybe you could drive your cohorts to Lake James tie a brick to

your foot and throw yourself off a bridge as our town would be much

better off without you.


By the way Vote for Hillary cause she is fellow angel of Satan


Slick Willy



ED:  Cowards never step up and identify themselves, they make up stories, too bad for their ignorance.  I actually support MOVEON.ORG on several issues, but not all of them, I am an independent who will remain that way, not some suck up like this writer is to JIMBO!  Guess he is worried about the next set of financial records for the race that was dirty from it’s inception and especially considering who some of the conspirators were, look at the financial list.


Here is the message header for those who enjoy looking at who really sent this, if they do their research that is:



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From: "Bill Clinton" <slickwilly7@gmail.com>

To: webmaster@burketruth.com

Subject: fools

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From: Rob Hairfield [mailto:rhairfield@compascable.net]
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 12:07 AM
To: Rob Hairfield
Subject: Election results


There are three new board members, and one incumbent who will make up the new board in December.


It was an overwhelming victory for all four as the results were almost two to one in many races. The people have spoken, and the new board will be the board of the people.


Rob Hairfield                      3959 votes    52%


Bill Simmons (Incumbent)         2640 votes


James Pearson (Challenger)      1164 votes


Total votes cast                   7763


My heartfelt thanks to all those who made this possible, and to begin a new day in the Burke County Public School system.



Respectfully submitted,


Rob Hairfield


From: SweetGingerLea1@aol.com [mailto:SweetGingerLea1@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 11:31 PM
To: Dave@burketruth.com
Subject: Check out Hefty Pay Gains Urged for Disabled Vets


Hefty Pay Gains Urged for Disabled Vets 



I am concerned about some of these proposals. Primarily, it seems directed towards favoring recent veterans while disregarding othersPREDOMINANTLY, I am EXTREMELY concerned about the intent to "REVIEW" veterans with PTSD every two years. The initial process of determination is extremely stressful, and you and I both know that a Vet with PTSD should AVOID all stress! Now they want them reviewed every two years, and I am of the belief the only possible reason they would do that is to try to EXCLUDE them from benefits!  The increase in benefits sounds nice, but I believe it may be just an enticement to pass the measures and then begin removing benefits from Vets with PTSD: Offer the carrot of increased benefits with the stick in the legislation and then hit them over the head with the stick and take away the benefits of Vets with PTSDI read a case where a Vet received a "review" notice a few years ago and committed suicide with the letter in his hand. I don't want that to happen to any more Vets: ESPECIALLY MINE! I also do not relish the prospect of having to deal with an exacerbation of Rod's condition if he is placed under a stressful situation by the VA. I spend a great deal of effort attempting to make his life as stress free as possible so he may enjoy the best quality of life possible under the circumstances which adds an incredible amount of stress to my life. That proposal is a sample of the kind of assistance I do NOT need! Additionally, it unfairly targets Vets with PTSD for special scrutiny as though their condition is somehow more objectionable and less worthy than a physical injury. That is sending a very negative and convoluted message to Vets when, theoretically, we want them to come forward and seek help, and I find it quite insulting.



{Ed: I agree, this should not happen, our vets should not be put through this treatment.}



From: G. Nance [mailto:driftawayman@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2007 2:24 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Cesspool on website



I just wanted to say that your site is overall good until I got the parts of the bashing of Burke citizens like those in the Cesspool section.  I personally work with more than half of those listed and I don't think you know them good enough to be able to post your childish opinions about them.  You're probably a poor little man that likes to hit on the large guys that have more money than you because they have more of a life that doesn't revolve around putting other down for helping someone else.  A change is good once in a while.  I didn't know that Mel has been mayor for 22 years.  That's way to long.  Give someone else a chance.  It's not supposed to be a career.  If this makes you mad then sorry, you site said I could let off some steam so here I am.


From: Pam Owen-Early [mailto:zeldaofgatsby@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Monday, October 08, 2007 1:53 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: SLIME


I am totally appalled and saddened by the fact that a person can stoop so low as to spread such vicious slander about Jim and Jan Richardson.  May God forgive you for your immoral, depraved, malicious, and evil soul.  One day you will stand before your Maker and answer for this.  It makes one wonder WHAT kind of man Mel Cohen is to condone this slime.  I as well as many others know WHAT kind of man you are.  Sincerely, Pam


{Ed: This one needs to go home to IOP as she can’t read well, she is no friend of mine.  She knows him socially, I knew him professionally, and I have more experience in evaluating than he does, so Waaaaaaaaaaa, go run to Gary and tell him I hurt your feelings with my opinion.  Who told you to come to my site; it is for my friends only and you are not one of them.  You come from the TOWN OF MOUNT PLEASANT, SOUTH CAROLINA  and you have the audacity to talk to me about my opinions of Morganton and the PEOPLE in the surrounding area, Pam, in all due respect, GO TO HELL!  This is my site, I paid for it, and I am willing to defend it.}

[Zelda finally agreed to marry him, but her overpowering desire for wealth, fun, and leisure led her to delay their wedding until he could prove a success.”  Source:  http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gatsby/context.html  Guess this tell you WHAT kind of woman Pam is, now doesn’t it?



Moncure, NC


A typical reaction by some warped minded posters without a valid retort to a factual event is to sink to name calling. It's quite obvious what group of posters you belong to Dave when you call someone with such prestigious credentials as Richardson a vulgar name. You sir base your writings on immature emotions, not facts. Crap, as you like to call it, is very infantile. In other words, you don't display or seem to have the intellectual stability to face my facts and analyze them properly without abandoning reason and resorting to the most childish emotional outburst of profanity. Yes, I readily concede that there where large black flies at the debate, if this is what you truly wish to debate with me. I wonder if perhaps the flies where coming from wine Mel drank at the pedophile reputable Mythos nightclub at 7:41 P.M. before returning 10 minutes later in time to closely emulate a chimpanzee near the center rear of the hall directly behind the cameras. Help me understand more about the crap flies that you mentioned, it sounds very intriguing to figure out your subconscious thinking. Are you some sort of expert on crap flies? It seems that you are against crap, yet in favor of flies landing on crap. If this is true and if the flies did what you liked, are you and the flies similar? Building on these extracted conclusions, are you going to eat Jim for Mel? Are you repressing desires to eat your former boss and put your "shame" on him to satisfy the Mayor? It is my opinion that you were sexually molested by your father at 1 or 2 years of age and when faced with confrontation you return to a time in you life when you last felt safe, back to the days before crap was shameful. Seems quite odd now that you would side with the Mythos team, unless you yourself repeated the sins of your father with your own son by placing your "shame" on his "crap".


(Ed: Written by a person so ashamed they can’t write their own name – this is called chicken shit)


From: SweetGingerLeaf@XXXXXXXX.net
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2007 12:56 PM
To: Dave@burketruth.com
Subject: Feedback



     Thank you for responding to my message.  As I mentioned previously, I perused your web site at the behest of Mr. Richardson.  I would like to say I appreciate many elements of your web site including access to the National Sex Offender Registry as I am proactive in public protection.  I found nothing of the obscenities, filth and hate of which he said your web site consisted.  Au contraire, I found the information on Mr. Richardson very enlightening.  Although designed to absolve WPCC of any responsibility for malfeasance, the letter to the EOC by WPCC made the utilization of preferential measures blatantly obvious. The situation should have been more thoroughly investigated for the benefit of all current and future employees.  I am sorry that happened to you, and please accept my apologies on behalf of the State of North Carolina.

     I thank you for maintaining my anonymity but at the same time feel guilty for requesting you to do so.  Obviously, the statements would have more credibility if not made anonymously, but as I mentioned previously I have concerns Mr. Richardson may take retaliatory actions against my family in consideration of the totality of circumstances.  It does not seem normal that a man would disclose his personal feud against you to a total stranger innocently engaged in an activity to the benefit of veterans in spite of the fact I informed him that neither I nor my organization are political; I informed him I did not know you personally and had no idea you were political or even had a web site and essentially knew little of the machinations in Burke County. Quite frankly it seemed rather pathological.  Ergo, I have serious concerns for the welfare of my family as I believe he would initiate the same type of nefarious character assassination with my family as he currently is engaged in with you.  I am grateful to him in that he introduced me to your web site and subsequently we had the opportunity to converse and become better acquainted.



From: SweetGingerLeaf@XXXXXXXX.net
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2007 8:44 AM
To: dave@burketruth.com
Subject: Got something to say?



Please call me at your EARLIEST convenience.  I know you and I have not conversed much, but last evening I had a MOST DISTRESSFUL encounter with a man who identified himself as Jim Richardson.  I tried to explain to him I did not know you very well (as we have only exchanged brief and limited social pleasantries and had only that one very brief conversation exclusively dedicated to impending legislation about veterans.)  I also told him the DAV and I are both NON-POLITICAL.  I told him you had never spoken to me about political interests and I was not even aware you had any.  I also told him I had never logged on to your web site.  I also TRIED to tell him I was not even from Burke County.  I was still so upset by the encounter I had difficulty sleeping last night, awakened early this morning, and am still considerably distressed by what transpired.  He solicited a promise from me to peruse your web site as conditional for him to support the fund raiser for the DAV which, of course, I did promise for the sake of our disabled veterans.  Honor bound, I kept my promise with a great deal of trepidation as he stated your web site was filled with obscenities, filth and hate.  Praise THE LORD, I did not find that which he had described to me.  Although I am reluctant to involve myself due to concerns about possible repercussions and retaliation against my family or the DAV, I feel it imperative the public should be made aware since this man is a candidate for public office irrespective of the fact it is a nominal mayoral position.  Please call me ASAP at 828-XXX-XXXX.  Thank you.




From: Nancy Church [mailto:nrcardwell@embarqmail.com]
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2007 2:18 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: what is your problem????


It is obvious that you don’t like Mr. Richardson, but really…do you have to be so much of a butt?  Your comments are scary…to me, they resemble something Iwould hear from perverts on Law and Order.  You mention that many at WPCC didn’t like Mr. Richardson……someone did…he was there 25 years.  One doesn’t stay that long without some credibility and confidence in his work ethic/record.   You can disagree with him and what he stands for; you have that right, but show some class in your comments.  The religious sections, in my humble opinion, have no place on your “name-calling, slandering” website. 

Just making an observance.



From: A Friend
Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2007 9:02 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: flip flop


Hey Dave,

Check this letter to city employees out.  See below.  The question I think this raises is:

If all City Employees jobs are safe, and Jim wants to sell the electric system to Duke Power, the Cable System to Time Warner, the City Tax and Elections Departments to the County and CoMMA to who knows who, what will happen to all the employees who work in those departments?  Think this is another Richardson Flip-flop or just another prevarication (See Webster for the definition of "lie".)

Keep up the great work.  "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."

Name (and email address) withheld by request.


<![if !vml]><![endif]>



From: Warner Ellison [mailto:wmellison@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 8:52 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: words of praise


Mr. Tubergen,


I hope you are enjoying the recent attention you have been receiving concerning your enlightening website.  You must be proud being recognized as the child who consumes his days stalking and slandering others. Your blog is evident of your sheer fluidity and brilliance, very eloquently written. How resourceful you are Dave, holding on to a Christmas card that was also sent to the rest of the WPCC faculty. I imagine that if I walked into your home, I would find a collection of Richardson memorabilia, maybe even a voodoo doll of Richardson himself. Someone should really start paying you for your work as a private eye, or arrest you for being a stalker one. You must be quite the legal genius as well, seeing as how you sued the college. How did that work out for you David?  Seeing as how Richardson didn’t remember you, I assume that it was an unforgettable trial at best. Keep up the good work Dave! You are changing the world with every word you write. With quotes such as these...you should get out of Morganton, and start working for the New York Times…..they need your kind of brilliance!


<“By the way, know what a “BOSS” really is?  It is a backward Stupid Son of a Bitch”>


<“Funny thing happened last week, I ran into Jan Richardson at a local quick stop store and she is looking fine as ever, too fine for JIMBO.” That pretty woman needs to find herself a real man, not one of those cowboy want to be’s, he is only a smelly man after he has been to the barn.”>



Once again David, I will leave this sight only singing your praises. You are the honorable man who accuses others of being adulterers, when it is you who is writing about another mans wife on the internet. Freedom of speech may turn out to be expensive for you in the end.






From: Judy Benfield, LifeWorks Office Manager [mailto:lifework@bellsouth.net]
<![if !vml]>EANLogo_small.gif (1613 bytes)<![endif]>
Morganton Office

123 N. Sterling St.
Morganton NC  28655



Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 11:30 AM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com


You need help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




From: Ellen Johnson [mailto:ellendj406@yahoo.com] <![if !vml]>Ellen Johnson photo<![endif]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 5:43 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Thoughts on your website




When I first viewed your website I became quite angry and confused. I know Jim Richardson very well, and it offended me at all the things you had to say about him. However, I looked at all your blog entries and it became clear to me. You are a pathetic, miserable, envious man who has made a career about out of playing a victim. You should title your website “ A Losers Pathetic Attempt to Revenge After Being Fired”. Furthermore, slandering his family and friends is despicable. You claim you represent facts, but all your accusations towards Richardson are based on rumors. You accuse Richardson of having a drinking problem, but it was Cohen that went to Rehab. But I am not here to defend Richardson  to you, nothing I say will alter your opinion of him, which is fine, no one cares what a nobody like you has to say anyway. Your blog is childish and poorly written, which is evident with all your spelling and grammar mistakes, you cannot even spell the word loser right, you imbecile.  Anyways, continue to write what you will, all my friends and colleagues get a kick out of it. You are a joke, no one knows you as anything except as the moron that is obsessed with Jim Richardson, which is sad, he doesn't even know who you are. Furthermore, regardless of whether Jim Richardson wins or loses, at the end of the race he will still be a good man with good intentions. You, on the other hand, will still be the same miserable fuck who can’t do anything more than write in a wretched blog on the internet. What a big man you are. Why don't you run for mayor, rather than sitting behind your computer?  You consume your life with hate and misery. I wish you the best Mr. Tubergen. I’ll be praying for you


From: Jonathan Jones [mailto:coldpizzaphoto@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, September 24, 2007 10:24 AM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Interesting website




I came about your site while looking into the mayoral race in Morganton.  I am from Charlotte and there is a similar website here that you may want to take a look at.  The focus is more on crime, but you may get some ideas for your site http://www.crimeincharlotte.com/


Good Luck!

Jonathan Jones



From: Young, Marcie [mailto:myoung@charlotteobserver.com]
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 5:55 PM
To: 'Dave Tubergen'


Hello, Mr. Tubergen,


My apologies for taking so long to respond to your email. I'm sorry you felt as thought my early August story about the mayoral race in Morganton was slanted toward any particular candidate. I have been talking quite extensively with both candidates about the race and their platforms and am very much focused being fair in all of the stories I write. I assure you that I am following this election very closely.


Thanks so much for your email and for bringing up a lot of points for me to look into. I have spent time looking at your website and appreciate the information you've gathered there.


Thanks again, and please feel free to call or email with any other concerns or issues you may have.


Kind regards,


Marcie Young
Reporter - Catawba Valley Bureau
The Charlotte Observer
19 Fourth St. SW
Hickory, N.C. 28601
Phone: (828) 324-0055 ext. 7335
Fax: (828) 327-3480

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Tubergen [mailto:tubergen@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2007 12:05 PM
To: MYOUNG@charlotteobserver.com

Dear Ms. Marcie Young,


            I am wondering why you have slanted your subject article to push toward Mr. Jim Richardson.  You don't understand Morganton history whatsoever, we have a nonpartisan race for Mayor, we the people of Morganton vote the person, not a political party.  You stated the accolades of Richardson, even through many are controversial, but said nothing about the awards Cohen has won.  Even Readers Digest mentioned our small town. 


            I have waited a week to see if anyone would respond to your article but it is hard since my home delivery has disappeared for the past week, isn't that a coincidence?  To be honest and truthful, I cannot underestimate my paper being stolen for a purpose, I live on a main street and when the paper is delivered early in the morning, anyone walking by could easily pick it up.


            You call Mr. Richardson a tough opponent, he is not, he has a 25 year history of abuse of power as well as many folks who absolutely do not like him, which I am definitely at the top of the list.  I do know the man, I worked at the community college for over five years, and I was one of his victims.  Check out my website:  http://www.burketruth.com or do a Google search on it, then go to my BLOG and at the beginning of the Blog I give you a link to my site's statistics, they speak for themselves.  I know someone from your server has been there, look at it for yourself to confirm what I say. 


            Thought it was funny that he probably repeated what he was told when you quoted him as saying "Leadership gets stagnant after too long."  You mentioned nothing about how he had a relationship with his now wife when she was still married to a man who worked for him.  You did not mention a drinking problem.  You did not mention the number of lawsuits against the college during his tenure.  He thinks he has made connections with the students for 25 years?  His arrogance is all the students normally seen, the rare times he came to work.  Only a very small percentage of his students are living in Morganton, not a very big base.  


            You made no mention of the money that Mr. Richardson has spent so far.  I may be wrong but I don't think Mr. Cohen has wasted any money on advertising, why, because he is accessible to all the residents of Morganton.  Cohen knows most of the residents by name, think Richardson even cares?  There are a handful of rich people in town who want to take control of Morganton.  I, knowing the true Mr. Richardson, will do my best to make sure this does not happen.  I have started to expose these individuals and you can judge for yourself.  Look at how much property these people own in the downtown area; it is not hard to do good homework assignments.


            I really think you need to go back and do another follow-up and mention the many other names that support Cohen.  What you did instead was to pick the one good man who had his name smeared in the local press, Mr. Yianni Dimarhos.  He is a good Morganton man who was falsely accused and attacked by a group of locals resulting in his name being smeared negatively in the local paper, now think how that looks when you quote his name.  It is these little things that really hurt innocent folks when you are being hand fed slanted information.  


            Think about this, the only letter to date in the local paper for Richardson was retired McGalliard; no one else of position will put their name on the front line.  There has already been some who are trying to cover their trails.  Besides the local paper has already run more Cohen support letters.  I assure you that many more will surface prior to the election for Cohen.  Cohen has always had an open door policy to all Morganton residents, rich and poor  - ask anyone if they ever tried to get an appointment with Richardson when he was at WPCC - first question was how much money do you have and then why do you want to see him.


            I personally know Mr. Richardson's style of leadership and I rate him as questionable in today's world.  His style of back room dealings will not fly in this community and it will rule out in the end, you can not hide the truth forever, wait until after the elections and see who his supports are listed in his financial report, see how much was spent and where to get someone elected.  This election will not be bought by a handful of local socialites with more money than common sense. 


            Soon I will be writing in my Blog about your article and hopefully I can reference the follow-up article in the near future.  Walk the street and talk to the people who live in town, learn the truth about what the locals all know, Richardson is a rich snob who will not win.  But then again, all of this is just my opinion based on a lot of fact.


With best regards,


David "Dave" Tubergen


Retired USAF

Full time volunteer



Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 1:45 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Say No to Jim Richardson


I must say that I, for one, will not be voting for Jim Richardson in this year's election.


Why, you ask?  The reasons are quite simple.


1. As a former WPCC student, I never saw Jim Richardson on the campus but once or twice.  And I was at that school for five years as a part-time student while working full-time.  This includes day classes and night classes.  So where was he?


2. As a student who graduated Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society of Two-Year Colleges, and with high honors, I was never helped with finding a job.  I contacted the school several times, as well as looked online for jobs through the school.  Did I find a job in the field I had just trained so hard for? NO!


3. While at WPCC I had some of the greatest teachers who were trying to teach us without making it so easy that a monkey could figure it out.  These teachers did not sit there at the front of the class and read the chapters to us out of the book word for word. (I can read for myself, and probably better than those teachers!)  The greatest teachers would fight for us and for what was right in the school.  But did their efforts do any good?  No.  They were fired.  Not only were they fired, but every job attempt they made after that was foiled by Jim Richardson and his cronies. They still do not have jobs.


And why don't they have jobs yet you ask?  Because bullshit walks and money talks. I am positive that Jim and his cronies lined the pockets of every place that these teachers applied too after being fired.  And when the money is lining those pockets, and they are being bought, why should they look at all the good these teachers have done?


I just thought that you, as the public have the right to know the truth about what Jim Richardson has done.


An extremely concerned Citizen






***Dave, don't put my name on this because I need to keep my job





NOTE FROM DAVE: I fully do not support Jim A. Richardson, or any of his illegitimate children who write to me from Arkansas, ignorance shows.

 -----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Richardson [mailto:mtrich@suddenlink.net]
Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2007 8:40 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: sick puppy


I was surfing through the internet and came up on your blog. 


Mister you are one sick puppy. i also looked up your town and found out they have a mental hospital there you must of escaped or you daddy has a lot of money keep you out. you are one bucket of shit. if you lived in Arkansas you would be castrated because we don't let shit like you breed. I don't even know any of them guys running for office but don't never come to Arkansas and pull that shit.



Arkansas Frog








From: PJOG@aol.com [mailto:PJOG@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2007 3:47 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Letter


Dear Sir,

It was with great interest that I read the letter from Roy A. McGalliard on in the News Herald on August 15th.  Professor McGalliard’s loyalty and devotion to his former employer is, I believe, admirable but it has led him to jump to some erroneous conclusions. 


So, to clear up the errors, let’s look at some facts.  In August of 2006, over a year ago now, the Morganton City Council approved (following a hearing before the Planning and Zoning Committee and a public hearing before the City Council) a requirement that any “big box” type development apply for and receive a special use permit before being built.  Check the date on that: August of 2006.  Now, why is this important?  Simply stated, if the City Council had not taken this step fully a year ago, Wal Mart would be nearly 6 months into construction of its store on 181.  That’s right, all Wal Mart would have had to do was apply for a building permit, and their store would be under construction as I write this today.  The property in question (and as a licensed appraiser of property Professor McGalliard should have known this) was already zoned for a shopping center and had been for years.  

Mr. McGalliard’s letter states:  “This is no way to govern Morganton.”  I disagree.  This is exactly the way to govern Morganton.  Had the Council not anticipated such a move by Wal Mart (or Target, or others) and acted in the way it did fully a year ago, Wal Mart would be planning its grand opening on that site right now.  This is exactly the kind of experienced leadership, leadership with a vision, we have all come to expect from our City Council.  I don’t know what kind of leadership we might get from others, but we know what kind we have gotten from the current council.


Now, let’s look at the request for a special use permit by Wal Mart.   Professor McGalliard would have us think that there was some sort of “back room, closed-door, no one needs to know” (his words) hidden conspiracy to keep this from the public.  Since the days of the Roswell, NM “flying saucer crash” and later the Kennedy assassination, conspiracy theories have been popular in this country.  Such theories, while very entertaining, often ignore the facts.  The same is true here.  Was there a sign (actually several signs) posted on the property notifying all who passed by that a special use permit had been applied for?  Yes. Was the request for a special use permit published in a local newspaper?  Yes. Was a public hearing held before the City’s Planning and Zoning group?  Yes.  If this was a “back room, closed door, no one needs to know” (Professor McGalliard’s words again) hidden conspiracy it was a very poorly planned one. 


The Council (again using Mr. McGalliard’s words) only did what was “required by law”.  Imagine that.  Elected leaders following the law.  Again, isn’t that what we want elected leaders to do?

The Council (again according to Professor McGalliard) “did not check with us first”.  Roy, what were those signs and newspaper ads for?  Yes, the members of the City Council and the Planning and Zoning Committee didn’t go door-to-door telling everyone in a 5 mile radius to please come to the Planning and Zoning meeting, just as Dr. Richardson didn’t go door-to-door when WPCC canceled the 4th of July Fireworks or the Piedmont Blues Festival.  We all found out about those through the news media. 


So, to summarize, the City Council we have now has shown it was insightful and had a vision for Morganton’s future in creating the requirement for a special use permit for “big box” stores a half a year before the first one applied for a permit.  The council we have now followed the letter and spirit of the law in spite of the fact that the deep pockets of Wal Mart would have preferred otherwise. 

Will the question of Wal Mart’s special use permit come up again after this year’s city council election?  Maybe, maybe not, but if it does would you prefer to have the question dealt with by a council with proven ability to deal with such issues?  Or, would you to prefer to go with untried, unproven individuals with ties to who-knows-who? 


Yes, it is a chance to choose.  As for me, I will choose leadership with experience and vision.  I will choose Mel Cohen, Larry Whisnant and Carl Evans. 


Thank you,

(signed) Claude Huffman

Morganton, NC

<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>








From: JOHN Anonymous

Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 11:54 AM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: go dave


Hi Dave, from all the people in Burke County and not just the one's that live in the city I give you encouragement and thanks for telling it like it is.  We need more people like you to stand up and let ‘er rip. JOHN








From: Mr. Anonymous 001

Sent: Monday, August 13, 2007 1:05 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Jimbo




First of all I would appreciate your not listing my name or e-mail address.


I have talked with several employees of WPCC and all seem to have the same opinion of Jim.  During the last 15 years of drawing a $100,000+ salary per year plus expenses, his office was located at the mule barn on Bost Road, with Jim only making an appearance at the college for about four hours a week.  What a suck on this county and state.  This also looks bad for the board of trustees for letting such happen.


Keep up the good work with your BLOG, as I make sure everyone I see knows about it.  Jimbo is the last thing the City of Morganton needs.











From: Carl Davis [mailto:cwdavis@nc.rr.com]
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2007 9:26 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Richardson





I don't know Mr. Richardson, but I have had the pleasure of knowing Mel for many years.  I've lived here in Wake County for 27 years and left the western part of our state more than 37 years ago, so I don't really know what goes on in Morganton.  I do know that Morganton is a very progressive town and Mel and his colleagues in city government have done a great job in making the downtown area very attractive.  I know that Mel has worked hard to promote Morganton throughout the state.  He is well respected by other mayors and civic leaders.  Morganton is lucky to have a guy like Mel who has been so devoted to his hometown for so long.


I know Mel's wife, Brenda, and his three children.  They are a family that represents the best of North Carolina.  They are smart hard working folks who have given back far more than they have received from their community and their state.


I would hope that the citizens of your community will continue to support Mel.  From my view, 200 miles away, Morganton would be hard pressed to find a better leader.


Carl Davis











From: rob hairfield [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Saturday, June 16, 2007 10:32 PM
To: Dave Tubergen
Subject: send to those on your email list


NOTE FROM DAVE:  I fully support Rob Hairfield and I hope you will also.  You see what they tried to do to Tracy Norman; don’t let her hang out on the line any longer, give her more support with Rob.  Give the man a chance, see what can happen if you just take the chance. 




Hello, my name is Rob Hairfield. This year there will be four seats open on the Burke County Board of Education. I would like to be one of the representatives who will be elected by you in November of this year. As citizens and voters I would hope you would look at the candidates running and ask yourself three questions:

<![if !supportLists]>1)                        <![endif]>Who are the people that are running?

<![if !supportLists]>2)                        <![endif]>Why have they decided to run?

3)       Which candidates have really prepared themselves for this office?


Would you please think of my answer to those three questions when you consider Rob Hairfield? I have lived in Burke County for over fifty years and am truly concerned about the future of the education system. I am a candidate who believes that the citizens of Burke County deserve a representative who will focus on credibility, integrity, and accountability.


Over the past six years I have spent countless hours attending school board and county commissioner meetings, where I gathered and studied critical data from reliable sources, as well as securing documents from the school system so I could properly prepare myself to be your representative on the Board of Education.


Two years ago, I was the only candidate for the Board of Education who had any platform of issues that would be addressed if I had been elected. They included pay raises for the lower hourly paid employees, reduction of fundraisers by students, and getting more money in the classrooms for principals and teachers to do their jobs better. Unfortunately those issues still remain and have not been addressed other than by broken promises and “lip service”.


Our school system has an annual budget from all sources of over $129 million, and I think we need to look at our board as if they were the board of directors of a major corporation, and see if they are active in the decision making processes of running our school system, or are they merely “rubber stamping” decisions based on the recommendations of the current administrators? I believe there has been too much “rubber stamping” over the past few years.


I believe the current board has not met the responsibility of representing the citizens of Burke County in that they have not always been responsive to the people that elected them with the decisions they have made. For example, there were three petitions with over 2950 names submitted to the board, including one by middle school students, asking the board not to name the new high schools, or any future schools after people. The board voted that very night, when a petition with over 1825 names was submitted asking them not to, and went ahead and named the two new high schools after prior educators. Are these the actions of credibility, integrity, and accountability?


I pledge to you it is my sincere desire to return credibility to the Board of Education. I will work diligently to restore integrity to a board that has been under scrutiny lately concerning some of the decisions that have been made, and the reasons behind those decisions. Lastly, and most importantly, I will work to ensure honest accountability to the taxpayers of Burke County who should expect no less than responsible fiscal control from their elected board members.


I ask you to look closely at the candidate’s qualifications this year, and believe when all things are taken into consideration, that it’s time for a change on the Board of Education and that a new direction and focus are needed.


I’m Rob Hairfield and ask for your support and vote this November. As we work together, we can, and we will move forward as the Burke County Public School system faces the many new challenges ahead in the future.










From: rob hairfield [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Wednesday, May 02, 2007 3:28 PM
<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>



Hello, my name is Rob Hairfield.  This year there will be four seats open on the Burke County Board of Education.  I would like to be one of the representatives who will be elected by you in November of this year.  As citizens and voters I would hope you would look at the candidates running and ask yourself three questions: 1) Who are the people that are running?  2) Why have they decided to run?  3) Which candidates have really prepared themselves for this office?


Would you please think of my answer to those three questions when you consider Rob Hairfield?  I have lived in Burke County for over fifty years and am truly concerned about the future of the education system.  I am a candidate who believes that the citizens of Burke County deserve a representative who will focus on credibility, integrity, and accountability.


Over the past six years I have spent countless hours attending school board and county commissioner meetings, where I gathered and studied critical data from reliable sources, as well as securing documents from the school system so I could properly prepare myself to be your representative on the Board of Education.


Two years ago, I was the only candidate for the Board of Education who had any platform of issues that would be addressed if I had been elected.  They included pay raises for the lower hourly paid employees, reduction of fundraisers by students, and getting more money in the classrooms for principals and teachers to do their jobs better.  Unfortunately those issues still remain and have not been addressed other than by broken promises and “lip service”.


Our school system has an annual budget from all sources of over $129 million, and I think we need to look at our board as if they were the board of directors of a major corporation, and see if they are active in the decision making processes of running our school system, or are they merely “rubber stamping” decisions based on the recommendations of the current administrators?  I believe there has been too much “rubber stamping” over the past few years.


I believe the current board has not met the responsibility of representing the citizens of Burke County in that they have not always been responsive to the people that elected them with the decisions they have made.  For example, there were three petitions with over 2950 names submitted to the board, including one by middle school students, asking the board not to name the new high schools, or any future schools after people.  The board voted that very night, when a petition with over 1825 names was submitted asking them not to, and went ahead and named the two new high schools after prior educators.  Are these the actions of credibility, integrity, and accountability?


I pledge to you it is my sincere desire to return credibility to the Board of Education. I will work diligently to restore integrity to a board that has been under scrutiny lately concerning some of the decisions that have been made, and the reasons behind those decisions.  Lastly, and most importantly, I will work to ensure honest accountability to the taxpayers of Burke County who should expect no less than responsible fiscal control from their elected board members.


I ask you to look closely at the candidate’s qualifications this year, and believe when all things are taken into consideration, that it’s time for a change on the Board of Education and that a new direction and focus are needed.


I’m Rob Hairfield and ask for your support and vote this November. As we work together, we can, and we will move forward as the Burke County Public School system faces the many new challenges ahead in the future.











From: Rob Hairfield [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]

Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 4:44 AM




Now that the administration and a majority of the school board have finished their “dog and pony show” with the people of Burke County it will be interesting to see when we get an apology from them for their actions.


I did see some letters in the paper early in the process supporting the young coach, but nowhere did I see any letters, or concerns expressed for the students who were the victims of the theft of their money.


Nor did I see any apology to the rest of the student body at East Burke High School for what they put up with during this ordeal.  Nowhere, did I see any concern for the family and in-laws of the coach.  I am sure this whole thing was very embarrassing and extremely hard for them to live with during the past three months.


I am told by employees within the system that Mr. Andy Anderson is highly respected and will do whatever he can to help any of his employees.  He will answer your question and not “sugar coat” it or worry if it is “politically correct”.  Above all he is an individual who tells the truth.  Isn’t that refreshing to know there are still some people out there that believe in honesty and personal integrity?  These employees say it would be a shame to lose a man such as Mr. Anderson as a result of this episode.


I do not personally know Mr. Anderson, that is to say, other than seeing him at various school functions or meetings, therefore I cannot attest to the comments I wrote about above in this letter.  But I will say this, the individuals I spoke with about this matter I do know, and I hold them in high regard as to their honest and candid opinion, but more importantly as the professionals they have demonstrated they are in the past several years.


This is the collateral damage suffered by many people.  I think the public deserves an apology by the superintendent and the chairman of the school board.  There may also be need for some additional resignations as a result of this truly unfortunate episode.


Rob Hairfield













From: Rob Hairfield [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2007 11:38 AM
Subject: Band of Brothers…  my version...




There is something that happens to all those when they raise their right hand and swear to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic that leaves an indelible mark on that person which will last a lifetime.


For at that moment, and for the rest of their lives, the person is inducted into a unique fraternity of individuals whose special kind of camaraderie and loyalty transcends that of any other bond between human beings.


When one joins as a member of the armed services of their country, they are exposed to lifestyles and cultures beyond their belief.  All of a sudden they aren’t from the urban slums of the inner city, or from the rolling fields of the country.  They are bonded together as peers regardless of their past and they go forward to do their duty.


They are taught teamwork, organizational skills, problem solving, following orders, and above all loyalty of purpose. It makes no difference what caused the individual to go into the military, whether it was by draft or enlistment.  The end result is that all are now members of a team. They eat, drink, fight, and work as a team. If necessary they even die as a team.


We, the American people have had set aside by the U.S. government two special days in which the country pauses to honor those that served.  Both are national holidays. One is Veterans Day, November 11th, when all veterans are honored.


The other is May 30th, or Memorial Day.  This date honors those that gave that last full measure of devotion to their country and made the supreme sacrifice by dying to uphold the oath they took upon entry into the armed service.


This day above all others is paramount for it represents the tradition and history of how this country evolved and the price that was paid by many over the years to make our country free.  We will soon be celebrating that day and I hope that all those reading this column will pause and reflect briefly what has transpired in the course of our history which brought this holiday into being.


There are many veterans of many wars still alive today here in Burke County and as a Navy veteran of the Vietnam era I would like to thank you all no matter when you served.  I know from personal experience what it means to truly be a band of brothers.


I salute you.


This was printed on the Thursday before Memorial Day 2005











From: rob hairfield [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:03 PM
<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>



Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, in his book titled “Leadership” stated,” The school system was never going to improve until its purpose, its core mission, was made clear, and that was to educate its students as well as possible.  Instead it existed to create jobs for those who worked in it, and to preserve those jobs regardless of performance”.


This has never been more true and evident than it has been here recently in Burke County.  I am not referring to just the East Burke incident, where nepotism along with favoritism has once again raised its ugly head, but to the fact that the majority members of this school board have consistently ignored the people’s will time and again.


This past year we had eleven of our schools fail to meet the standards as established by the state and federal guidelines.  Yet our “secret school board” in closed-door meetings would then appear, and vote on motions unannounced to the public.  Why would they want the public to know that the top four administrators in addition to contract extensions and boosts in their travel allowances would each receive a $10,000 raise?  Do we now have a reward for failure?


Our teachers receive bonuses from Raleigh based on how well their schools perform.  But our administrators receive raises from the county money we provide and apparently don’t have to pass any litmus test for eligibility.  Counting the raises and boosts in travel pay, that is just over $45,000 of county funds that would be better utilized in our classrooms.  How can anyone justify any pay raises based on the overall poor performance in our school system?  I want to make this one point perfectly clear, the principals and teachers are doing their jobs, they’re just not getting the adequate support from this board and administration.


Each time I ran for school board in the past, I advocated redistributing the money from the Central Office to the classrooms.  I also stated if we are going to be in the business of education, then we need to run the system as a business.  We currently are operating an employment agency for friends and family members of select persons within the system.  These positions are often created and funded again with county funds, since there is in reality no state position that exists.  The personnel that fill these jobs often don’t have any education or training in the area they are supposed to be working.  In other words, it is nothing but taxpayer subsidized good ol’ boys skimming needed dollars from the classrooms to some unqualified, undeserving individual.


It disturbs me especially when three members of the board who constantly vote for these things have spouses, or family members working for the school system.  Talk about a conflict of interest and divided loyalty.  No wonder these members don’t seem to care about the will of the voters after they are in office.


It makes it easier to understand now why this board has done nothing for three months except spin the administration’s story about the East Burke incident.  There are only two members on the current board that have tried to do the right thing and resolve this crisis, Mr. Buff and Mrs. Norman, only to be chastised and outvoted by the majority in every attempt to correct the situation.


There is an election in November where the people will have the opportunity to change the makeup of this school board.  Only one incumbent, Mr. Buff, deserves to be returned to office.  The trio of Brandon, Martinat, and Simmons need to be sent packing.


So when people ask me why I choose to run for a seat on the school board, I say the only way things will ever improve is to change this good ol’ boys club of favoritism and nepotism, and to try doing the job as it is supposed to be done.  That is educate our students, and support our principals and teachers.


Until that happens, the students will be short changed, the teachers will be sold out, and the taxpayers will be shafted.


Hello Burke County…..is anyone out there?


Rob Hairfield








From: Robert Jones [mailto:rrjones@hughes.net]
Sent: Friday, December 22, 2006 10:36 AM
Subject: Marine or not


One of the things that gripe my butt more than anything is someone who says he is a veteran and is not.


The Burke County Manager told me at a wedding last spring he had met his wife at a Marine Corps function.  I asked if he was a Marine and he said he was not, that his wife had been married to a Marine.


Last month he told one of the EMS employees that he was in the Marines but had never been "out of the country". 


Hmmm.  Never heard of that happening but.......


The EMS employee's son is a Marine and is preparing to deploy to Iraq in February.


My question is, how can you tell?


It just frosts my you know what that he, the County Manager would tell her something like that if it weren't so.  Do you have any insight?



Robert Jones


ED NOTE:  I have no idea how to tell except by seeing the documentation.  Ask him to cite the opening of the code of conduct, if he can’t, he is a liar.













From: rob hairfield [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 2:39 PM


I would like to ask the people of Burke County to look at what has been done here in the past four years.


We have turned the corner on the poor economic situation that hit our area and are on the rebound.  Thanks to Mr. Wayne Harris and his group, we have seen new industry move here and the expansion of current industry.  This has created more than 808 new jobs locally, with millions of dollars in plant expansions and renovations.  This does not include major improvements to Blue Ridge Health and Broughton Hospital.


A new county manager has been brought in, and doing a great job, to help lead in the new recovery and planning for our county.  Our county employees have gotten pay raises for the past two years, totaling five percent with a one-time bonus of $1,000.  The Sheriff’s department has gotten money for brand new vehicles for the past two years.  This trend is likely to continue solving a long time problem.  A committee is in place to improve the security at the Courthouse. EMS has gotten new ambulances.  Computer equipment has been updated, and new program technology has been incorporated.  The Lake James settlement has provided environmental security and stability, while allowing major residential development there.


The school system has gotten ample money this year, and a plan was put into effect to ensure they will receive a guaranteed amount next year so as to make their budget planning better.  The plan also will help both the schools and the county for years to come through the Buy “In” Burke Program and the one cent and half a cent taxes generated there.


Are we in great shape yet?  Not by any means, but we have made dramatic improvements in many areas. Most importantly, we have done this all with NO INCREASE in property taxes.


We must continue this plan for our future and allow our team to remain intact.


I ask the people of Burke County to join me in supporting, and re-electing Mr. Wayne Abele Sr. to the Burke County Board of Commissioners.


Rob Hairfield









From: Doug Yancey [mailto:deepenwide@yahoo.com]

Sent: Monday, October 09, 2006 3:07 PM

To: pconover@morganton.com

Cc: Dave Crawley; webmaster@burketruth.com

Subject: immigration


Dear Duke,

I read with interest your solution to solve the immigration problem by changing the law so that lawbreakers will be absolved of their crimes.  That probably won't encourage other immigrants to come on over.  Do you want the law to apply to just our Mexican friends or can our Iraqi, Iranian, and Korean friends also get a free pass?  Why in the name of bleeding hearts don't we just ask our border patrol to stand down and let everyone come in Duke.  God will surely continue to bless us.  I support it if you are for it Duke.  I have just one request.  I would like to send just one immigrant home.  Hint: His first name is Duke.  Yes Duke, like most of Burke County, I'm sick of you.  You are hopelessly caught up in your goody two shoes, pie in the sky (plenty of pie in your world) mentality of simple solutions for complex problems.  You should run for congress.  You are almost as bright as the people you criticize.








From: anonymous
Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2006 8:20 AM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: The News Herald


I totally agree with the anonymous reader on the readers comments about The News Herald.  Everyone should write and let Richmond know how they feel about the stories and anything else they feel is wrong.  When Dave Crawley came to The News Herald almost 3 years ago he began changing things.  Upon launching the updated News Herald the campaign was "Your Hometown Paper"

Well now it is anything but.  The McDowell News business office was moved to Morganton to be combined.  The Circulation Director for The News Herald is over McDowell’s circulation.  Now Dave Crawley is publisher for both papers.

These two papers are basically the same as the Hickory Daily Record with a few local stories dropped in.  It's hard for a newspaper to be run when there are so many turnovers in employees.  The fact that Cheryl Austin, the former business manager for McDowell News and The News Herald left after 15+ years should have said something.  Then Randy Hart, the Ad Director who had worked at The News Herald for 28 years left suddenly in July.  Does this not say anything to the powers that be at Media General in Richmond?  Not to mention NUMEROUS other employees that left suddenly.  There are VERY few people working there that have been there for at least 5 years.  This paper is no longer the paper that at once was.













From: Fred McLendon [mailto:mclendonauctions@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 11:39 PM
Subject: road less forests protection


I participated vigorously in this program.  Like many others I have always considered the Bush cancellation of this program an exercise in totalitarian government by one person.  As you can see the voice of the people can still be heard if you will just speak up.  I think the mid-term elections will show that this steamroller form of government is about to come to an end.



Earthjustice Supporters


Buck Parker, Executive Director


Huge Victory on Roadless Reinstatement

Dear Fred,

It gives me great pleasure to tell you about today's stunning victory for our roadless forests.

This morning, in response to an Earthjustice legal challenge, a federal district court ordered reinstatement of the Clinton-era Roadless Rule to protect almost 50 million acres of wild national forests and grasslands from road building, logging, and development. This is a triumph for everyone who values America's great natural areas, and a moment every one of you should savor with pride.

The 2001 Roadless Rule is one of the greatest forest conservation measures in U.S. history. But the Bush administration repealed the Roadless Rule with no environmental analysis and limited public input, and replaced it with a weak petitioning process. The repeal put all of our roadless national forests at risk from logging and energy exploration -- some of which has already begun.

Today, in response to our legal challenge, the court blocked development interests from further exploiting these last great natural areas. The Court agreed that in repealing the rule, the Bush administration failed to comply with basic legal requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. Earthjustice is proud to represent 20 conservation groups and join with the states of California, Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico in this fight.

We expect there will be additional legal challenges to the Roadless Rule, and we continue to support efforts underway in Congress to permanently enact the Rule. But today's ruling is a significant victory in Earthjustice's multi-year campaign to protect roadless areas.

You've been with us throughout this fight. Earlier this year, you helped us file a petition signed by 276,000 people, asking the Bush administration to reinstate the protections of the Roadless Rule. This victory belongs to you.


<![if !vml]><![endif]>

Vawter "Buck" Parker
Executive Director











From: rob hairfield [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Sunday, August 20, 2006 10:48 PM
Subject: Hello Dave this has been a hot topic lately




I have attended the last several school board meetings, and at those meetings many parents, citizens, and pastors past and present, spoke about their concerns as to whether PG-13 or R rated movies should be used in the classrooms of Burke County.


Recently a letter in this paper fairly accurately depicted what has transpired to date as to the resolution of this situation. I am glad that writer mentioned the fact that a committee was formed to try to come up with a solution.


It has been my experiences in the past many committees formed give the appearance that the decision is a consensus of the group. However, it has also been noted that most of these committees are over stacked with school administrators, staff, or other school system personnel so as out vote, or override any input from the citizens, or parents that the system may feel is not the path they wish to pursue.


This certainly appears to have happened again in the recent ongoing debate over the proposed media policy to be implemented in the Burke County schools. The decision should be very straightforward and simple. Do not use Hollywood produced movies or clips to serve as an adjunct to the subject being taught.


There are many other instructional videos that can be obtained from the History Channel, The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel, and The National Geographic Channel. None of these sources will have any four letter words or profanity in them. None will have any obscene gestures or actions. None of these sources will have any sexual innuendos, real or implied. Therefore, there will be no need for a review by administrators, or permission slips sent to parents to sign their approval whether their child(ren) may view a proposed film.


I doubt if any teacher would be outraged, or think their academic freedom was being restricted by the administrators if they were told that any videos used must be from the above named sources.


Now some may say that we should trust the judgment of the teachers and administrators as to what is shown. However, what is deemed as currently popular, or politically correct by some would not fit the definition of acceptable by others. Eliminate any doubt or gray area of concern, and just say no under any circumstances to Hollywood films being used in our classrooms.


Rob Hairfield
















From: rob hairfield [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 5:10 PM


There recently was announced in the media, including two radio stations, there was to be a special called meeting of the Board of Education for the sole purpose of naming an individual to fill a seat on the Board of Trustees at WPCC.


The reason for this meeting was due to the fact the school board wouldn’t approve the person nominated by the three member sub-committee for this position. It would appear that two out of three does not constitute a majority in Burke County if two of those three don’t pick the “right” person. It produced the most volatile and heated debate among board members I have witnessed in a long time.


One board member alluded to the fact this appointment was a “done deal” and that set things off with statements to the effect there have never been any “done deals”. It is obvious that member didn’t remember the charade of naming the new high schools where a long distance call to Germany had to be made to get the deciding vote. Also the fact that the grandson of one of the people the new high school was being named after just happened to attend the meeting that night with his wife.


The recent Monday night special meeting convened at 5:30 p.m. and the chairman announced a “short” closed session. Two members from the media, and this writer sat there for two hours. The board reappeared, took a vote on some amendment that was never disclosed to those in the room, passed the vote by a 4 to 3 margin, and proceeded to adjourn the meeting.


The radio station representative that came to film the meeting immediately went to the chairman and wanted to know why there was no action taken on the WPCC appointment, in that the reason for the meeting and the sole item on the agenda was the appointment. The chairman apologized and re-opened the meeting. He then stated the two candidates would come before the full board on August 7th for a session and then the full board would make a decision. This is the exact same thing that was stated at the regular Monday night meeting one week earlier. Why call a special meeting and then do nothing?

Could it be the board couldn’t get the “right” person they wanted again?


Then there was some discussion as to whether the meeting should be an open or closed session. Since this matter doesn’t involve any legal issue, nor does it involve a contract or disciplinary action, the answer is yes. It should be an open forum meeting so the media and the public can view and hear the proceedings.


If there were no collusion or “done deals” then why would this board not want the people to see how their elected officials conduct the business of this school system?


Rob Hairfield
















From: Stemjo33@aol.com [mailto:Stemjo33@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2006 8:12 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Immigration...!!!


I'm a little surprised that you do not have any information on the "now" hot topic of immigration !!!  As a husband to a legal immigrant (Russia) and dealing with the federal government for visas, and all types of other documents and information that is required...I understand why (many) choose to forego the law and do it illegally!!!  Having been through (and still going through this rigorous process) my heart goes out to those that are preparing to try to get visas, (It is not for the faint of heart..) and other entry documents to this once great country.  I am a veteran, I love America, and I can understand the reason for a process, but I must admit, this so called "process" is a mangled, disorganized, and mismanaged mess!!!!!  And something has to be done.  I just wondered what your readers thought of "the process"?  the truth is, most Americans do not know the pain, agony, and expense that it takes to get someone in the USA (legally)...supposedly we are trying to keep out "the bad guys" which is a major joke.  All it does is frustrates thousands of God-fearing, law abiding tax payers...like me!!!


Best regards,









From: rob hairfield [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 3:35 PM
To: Dave Tubergen
Subject: Food for thought for the reader's comments section...Rob




Once again some members of the school board ignore the people that elected them and that they are to represent.  This board asked for input from the people as to the naming of the new schools and when they received this input, pretty much ignored it.


At the recent meeting three speakers spoke against naming the schools after people.  One man cited a petition from the Salem area alone with 1525 names against naming schools after people.  Two other petitions were mentioned, one with over 900 names in favor of naming the school on Enola Road, Liberty. Another petition with over 145 names wanted to name the eastern school, Heritage.  That’s close to 2900 names against naming schools after people.


A recent letter by Carolyn Denton stated they should name the Central Office after Mr. Patton.  This is the exact same thing I suggested to the superintendent via Email some two weeks ago.  I went on to say that auditoriums or libraries could be named after educators, and athletic facilities after coaches or players, but school buildings should not be named after people regardless of their contributions to education.  I went on to say that it only causes division, and splits the community rather than uniting the entire system and making it stronger.


Around 1999-2000, the school system thought about changing the name of Icard Elementary School to Henry Clontz Elementary.  The people there protested the decision and it was forgotten.  The school system and the board should have seen that naming or re-naming schools after people would present problems.  They didn’t learn their lesson and when the new middle school was built went through the same process.  The students were asked for a name for the new school and I believe Independence was chosen.  The community where the school was located wanted Mrs. Louise Hood, a long time educator, and whose family was a benefactor to the system in that they gave the land to build the Chesterfield School on to the system.  However after much arm twisting the school was named after former board member Walter Johnson.


Once again this board failed to get the message that naming schools after people was a no win situation.  So now we have the present newly named schools and I asked one board member, after the meeting Monday night, if the eastern school site wasn’t in the Valdese area, would it have been named after Mr. Draughn?


The answer I received to why the Central Office couldn’t be named the Robert L. Patton Administration Office was that the county owned the building.  Well the county didn’t object to the school system calling their portion of the building the Central Office, and I doubt if the county would ask the school administrators to move due to a name change in honor of Mr. Patton.  Honoring Mr. Patton by having the headquarters of the entire system would be far more befitting than just having a small cracker-box high school building named for him.


There were almost 2900 names on the petitions against naming schools after people.  There are two school board members whose seats will be up for election in 2007, Mr. Simmons and Mr. Martinat.  Mr. Martinat should have realized in the election of 2003 when his opponent, who was incarcerated on Election Day, still got 1310 votes that the people were not happy with his performance.  Perhaps in 2007 when his seat is up for election again the 2900 people, and others will send him a message about not listening to the will of the people.


It is hoped that the school board and the system has finally gotten the message, and that is the system belongs to, and is funded by the people.  Therefore it would behoove those elected officials to do their duty, and uphold the oath of office they took to ensure the people’s will is followed, as well as that the overall good of the school system is maintained.


Rob Hairfield









From: Rob Hairfield [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 5:54 PM
To: Dave Tubergen
Subject: Reader's Comments?




About three years ago, one of our newly elected commissioners, Wayne Abele, was trying to find out why our county was in such dire straits as far as our fund balance.  It had been depleted down to less than the 8% required by law despite a massive property re-evaluation by the preceding board.


He went to the county finance officer and said, “Where do we get our revenues from in addition to the property taxes”?  The finance officer gave him information about various sales taxes and also a breakdown of how those taxes were being distributed in Burke County compared to the normal distribution throughout the state.


As a result of the one cent tax levied in 1983 Burke County was “short changed” some $8.9 million in a three year period from 2000-2003.  The commissioner shared this info with me and I starting looking into the one-cent tax item.  I went to visit the town manager in Valdese, as he was one of the citizens that helped conceive and promote the passage of this tax.


The thing that concerned me was the tax was for building, renovating, maintaining, and repair of schools and the intent was to provide money to build two middle schools.   However, once the conditions for building of those schools was met, there was no “sunset clause” as to what should be done after construction was completed.


I wrote a few columns about this disproportionate ratio, and showed how things could be so much better for all the citizens and departments in the county if this tax money was more fairly distributed.  I spoke of upgrading software in the county offices, cars for the sheriff’s department, a better pay raise for the 475 full time county employees among other things, including building the fund balance, that is now at a healthy 15 percent.  According to a recent independent audit, it was stated that our county is in sound financial shape for a county of this size when compared to others statewide.


Since then the school system and the county have had a series of negotiations, and there has been an agreement as to the one-cent sales tax and the half-cent sales tax that has helped both parties to do better budgeting and planning.


It all started when a single commissioner asked a simple question, and another individual citizen started writing to the paper about an issue that concerned all the people in Burke County.


We now have the “Buy in Burke” program in effect, and it urges all citizens to buy here locally to keep that tax money here for use by the people, and for the people in Burke County.


And that’s the way the whole thing started.








From: A Fischer [mailto:hafischer1@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2006 5:14 PM
To: Friends
Subject:  Environment North Carolina: Help us bring clean cars to North Carolina


Recently, Environment North Carolina urged a key legislative panel to bring more hybrid cars to North Carolina and to require all new cars to be cleaner.  This common sense solution to air pollution would cut down on asthma attacks and other health problems in our state.

Unfortunately, the automakers have ramped up their opposition to the bill.  That's why it's so important that the state's environmental leaders take a strong stand in support of clean cars and cleaner air for North Carolina!

Ask Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Bill Ross to support the Clean Cars bill.  Then, ask your family and friends to help out too by forwarding this e-mail to them.

To take action, click on the link below or paste it into your web browser:



Have you noticed that more children are suffering from asthma these days?

In North Carolina, the numbers have reached 1 in 10--more than the national average.  When air pollution levels spike, living with asthma is even tougher for these kids because smog can trigger asthma attacks.

The good news is that the hybrid car you saw on I-40 the other day doesn't just get better gas mileage.  It also emits about 90 percent less of the contaminants that trigger asthma attacks and increase our risk of getting cancer.

Of course, the only reason automakers are making and selling cars like the Prius at all is because 10 states have adopted Clean Cars rules or laws that require it.  Those states are getting more of these super clean, advanced technology cars than we are.

What's more, all of the new cars sold in those states--not just the hybrid-electric cars--are cleaner than the ones we buy here in North Carolina, at a cost of only about $200.

That's why our state needs its own Clean Cars law.

To cut the pollutants that cause asthma attacks, elevated cancer risks and global warming, North Carolina needs its own clean cars law.

The Clean Cars Act (H 1460/S 1006) will ensure that advanced technology cars are readily available in North Carolina and that all new cars meet tighter pollution restrictions.

The act would cut smog and toxic pollution by as much as 10 percent, and pave the way for a new fleet of vehicles that will reduce global warming pollution.

Earlier this week Environment North Carolina released a report documenting the health impacts of air pollution on North Carolinians.  To read the report, click on the link below or paste it into your web browser:


As the report documents, air pollution from cars is creating some serious health problems for North Carolinians.

Unfortunately, the automakers have ramped up their opposition to the bill.  That's why it's so important that the state's environmental leaders take a strong stand in support of clean cars and cleaner air for North Carolina!

Ask Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Bill Ross to support the Clean Cars bill.  Then, ask your family and friends to help out too by forwarding this e-mail to them.

To take action, click on the link below or paste it into your web browser:



Elizabeth Ouzts

Environment North Carolina State Director



P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and friends.

Anne Fischer, MS, CSW


PO Box 1523, Morganton, NC 28680

One Brain Consultant facilitator & Reiki Master

Be the Change You Wish to See in the World








From: Anonymous
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 2:31 PM
To: Dave Tubergen
Subject: reader's comments


Dave could you put something in the reader's comments section to the effect that if anyone has any comments or complaints concerning the editorial staff of the News Herald or the quality and content of the paper to please send a letter to the corporate HQ in Richmond at the following address:


Mr. Robert MacPherson, President

Community Newspapers of Media General

333 East Franklin Street

Richmond, Va. 23219 


The more people we can get to write to him the better our chances are of changing the "leadership" at our paper to one that is responsive and truthful to the people it is supposed to serve.


Thank you.





From: Dave Tubergen [mailto:dave@burketruth.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Subject: Thanks to those who have helped.


NEWS RELEASE: 06-010                                Feb. 14, 2006
AAFES MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Johnsenjohnsenj@aafes.com


“Help Our Troops Call Home” Support Passes $3 Million


DALLAS – Thanks to the generosity of Americans around the world, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s “Help Our Troops Call Home” phone initiative has surpassed $3 million.


As of Jan. 1, 2006, less than 24 months after the program began in April 2004, more than $3.2 million in Military Exchange Global Prepaid Phone cards have been distributed to troops throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.


“We are delighted by the response,” said AAFES Chief of Corporate Communication Lt. Col. Debra Pressley.  “From October to December alone, the American public provided more than 21,000 phone cards designed to meet the specific needs of deployed troops through ‘Help Our Troops Call Home.’”


Since the program’s inception in early 2004, 88,634 Military Exchange Global Prepaid phone card orders have been processed.  Of those, more than 19,000 have been sent to the attention of “any service member.”


Those wishing to send a phone card can log on to aafes.org or call 800-527-2345.  From there, phone cards can be sent to an individual service member (designated by the purchaser) or distributed to “any service member” through the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society, Fisher House or USO.


The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is a joint command of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and is directed by a Board of Directors who is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff.  AAFES has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and of generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs.  To find out more about AAFES' history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/pa/default.asp.










From: Dave Tubergen [mailto:dave@burketruth.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2006
Subject: Our Country’s Leadership is wavering


How does the leader of our country not see his errors, these are the facts and the sources are listed on the statements for you to check them out yourself, take action if you dare. 

The push for a real investigation into the president's illegal wiretapping program is picking up steam.  Yesterday, the first Republican right-wing Rep. Heather Wilson, called for a "painstaking" review of the program.1   It’s especially significant because Wilson heads a House subcommittee that oversees the NSA.  Today, we learned that two judges from the secret intelligence court warned that the program "ran a significant risk of being declared unconstitutional.”  2

It's obvious to members of both parties that the president is breaking the law with his domestic spying program.  The question is: are they going to let him get away with it?

<![if !supportLists]>v<![endif]>The president is breaking the law.  If Congress doesn't hold him accountable, they are telling us that the president is above the law.

<![if !supportLists]>v<![endif]>The president already has the power to immediately wiretap suspected terrorists.  The law offers the president the flexibility to wiretap suspected terrorists immediately and get a court order up to three days later.3

<![if !supportLists]>v<![endif]>The domestic spying program is a dragnet that has led to innocent Americans.  The Bush administration insists that the illegal wiretapping program is only applied to suspected terrorists.4  Now, both the New York Times5 and the Washington Post6 have reported that the program is a fishing expedition that often leads to innocent Americans.  On Monday, the attorney general would not confirm that the program didn't eavesdrop on innocent Americans. 7

<![if !supportLists]>v<![endif]>Opposition to the president's power grab is bipartisan.  Despite Karl Rove's desire to turn this into an election issue, even threatening to take electoral revenge on Republicans who break with the president,8 Republicans and Democrats have questioned his authority.9  As Congresswoman Wilson points out, the administration's reluctance to come clean, "has deepened her apprehension about whom the agency is monitoring and why.”  10

The president knows he's breaking the law so he's desperately trying to change the subject, using misleading terms like "terrorist surveillance program" to describe illegal spying on Americans in the United States.  He's in dangerous waters right now, and he knows it. With momentum building against him, it's important to turn up the heat.


1.) Republican Who Oversees N.S.A. Calls for Wiretap Inquiry, New York Times, February 8, 2006

2.) Secret Court's Judges Were Warned About NSA Spy Data, Washington Post, February 9, 2006

3.) "A Better Way to Eavesdrop?" Time, February 2, 2006

4.) Eavesdropping targets only al Qaeda: US officials, Reuters, February 5, 2006

5.) "Spy Agency Data After Sept. 11 Led F.B.I. to Dead Ends," New York Times, Jan 17, 2006

6.) Surveillance Net Yields Few Suspects, Washington Post, February 5, 2006

7.) Gonzales: 'I Cannot Give You Absolute Assurance' That We Are Not Spying on Innocent Americans, Thinkprogress, February 6, 2006

8.) Rove counting heads on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Insight Magazine, February 6, 2006

9.) "FACT: Members of Both Parties Believe Bush Broke the Law," Thinkprogress, January 23, 2006

10.) Republican Who Oversees N.S.A. Calls for Wiretap Inquiry, New York Times, February 8, 2006










From: Dave Tubergen [mailto:dave@burketruth.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Subject: Our Country’s Leadership


Our Wussie leader is spying on our own without good reason-why?  This week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified about the president's illegal domestic spying program.  His testimony came one day after Senator Arlen Specter, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said that the president violated the law1 and the Washington Post debunked a key Bush administration claim, reporting that the program tapped thousands of innocent Americans and almost no terrorism suspects.2

The White House has already set the stage to stonewall.3 So it's important that our senators demand real answers from the administration. 

Here is the bottom line: the president is breaking the law. He already has the authority to wiretap suspected terrorists—and we support that—but he chose to reach beyond that.  We need to know why he refuses to get warrants and he needs to be held accountable.

Respecting the rule of law isn't a partisan issue; it's a core American principle.  That's why prominent conservatives like David Keene, Paul Weyrich and Grover Norquist are outraged by the president's illegal program.4  Even leading Republicans like Chuck Hagel, Lindsey Graham, and Sam Brownback have seriously questioned the president's authority.5  With public criticism mounting, the Bush administration knows they're in big trouble.

If the president can get away with breaking the law now, there's no limit to what he or any other president can do.

The administration has claimed that the program only spies on those with clear links to Al Qaeda 6

<![if !supportLists]>v<![endif]>Fact: The program had FBI Chasing "thousands of tips a month," with many leading to dead ends or innocent Americans.7

The administration has said that obtaining a warrant is too time consuming.

<![if !supportLists]>v<![endif]>Fact: They can already immediately place wiretaps and obtain a warrant up to 3 days later. 8

They've argued the program was authorized by Congress in the September 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF)

<![if !supportLists]>v<![endif]>Fact: A Congressional Research Service [CRS] report concludes that the AUMF doesn't authorize the program.9

They've claimed that Congress was informed of the Program.10

<![if !supportLists]>·         <![endif]>Fact: the Congressional Research Office concluded that "the Bush administration's limited briefings for Congress on the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping without warrants are 'inconsistent with the law.'"11

They've said the NSA spying program stopped possible terrorist attacks in the United States 12

<![if !supportLists]>v<![endif]>Fact: Programs Uncovered "No imminent plots..inside the United States." 13


1. "Specter Criticizes Rationale for Spying," Associated Press, February 5, 2006

2. "Surveillance Net Yields Few Suspects," Washington Post, February 5, 2006

3. "Senate Panel Rebuffed on Documents on Spying," New York Times, February 2, 2006

4. "FACT: Members of Both Parties Believe Bush Broke the Law," Thinkprogress, January 23, 2006

5. Leading Conservatives Call for Extensive Hearings on NSA Surveillance; Checks on Invasive Federal Powers Essential, January 17, 2006

6. "Surveillance program protects country, Bush says," USA Today, January 23, 2006

7. "Spy Agency Data After Sept. 11 Led F.B.I. to Dead Ends," New York Times, Jan 17, 2006

8. "A Better Way to Eavesdrop?" Time, February 2, 2006

9. "Report Rebuts Bush on Spying," Washington Post, Jan 7, 2006

10. "Gonzales defends wiretaps amid protest," CNN.com, January 26, 2006 http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/24/nsa.strategy/

11. "Report Questions Legality of Briefings on Surveillance," New York Times, 1/19/06
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=1445 (Subsciption required)

12. President Bush's Radio Address, Dec 17, 2005

13. "Spy Agency Data After Sept. 11 Led F.B.I. to Dead Ends," New York Times, Jan 17, 2006,







From: Phil G. Davis 

To: Friends

Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 2:59 PM

Subject: Guts To Dig Coal.  (From Cleveland Paper)


<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>

Subject: Guts to dig the coal (From Cleveland paper)


Bless the guys with the guts to dig the coal


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dick Feagler

Plain Dealer Columnist


We often make fun of West Virginia.  I was raised to do so.  From our fancy, sophisticated perch on the top of Ohio, we saw West Virginians as hillbillies and hicks.


When we walked into a diner and saw a woman behind the counter, working her tail off, hair in a beehive, extra polite, spanking-white uniform, speaking with a drawl, we thought, "West Virginia."  And we looked down on that good woman.  And thought, "Hillbilly."


Was the makeup wrong?  Was the body too thin?  Maybe the map on the face told too many hardscrabble stories.  People in our part of the state - Italians and Polacks and Irish and whatever - have always looked askance at the folks from West Virginia, the same way they once looked askance at each other.


But this week, if you walked across the floor to turn your thermostat up, you were risking a coal miner's life.  Half of America's energy comes from coal - much of it from West Virginia mines.


A coal miner buries himself alive each day.  He kisses his family goodbye and rides a bucket two miles into the earth.  There he toils until they pull him up and he goes home for a hug and supper.


I guess we don't think too much about what keeps the lights on.  Why should we?  We are, after all, so smart.  We take so many things for granted.  But the power behind that electricity is those guys in the mines.


Almost 40 years ago, I traveled with photographer Ted Schneider Jr. to one of the worst coal mine disasters in history.  Farmington, W.Va.


Ninety-nine miners were entombed by an explosion.  Seventy eight died.  Schneider and I talked to the widows.  We talked to the local undertaker; a guy named Blaine Toothman, about how he was out of body bags and was ordering more from other towns in the state.


We covered all the announcements from the coal company union representative.  Bulletins came every four hours.  Families went home and slept and then dragged themselves back to a barren room with a microphone at the front of it.  The news from the mike was always the same: No news.  Still trapped.


There weren't as many media then.  Now the media outnumber reality - reality meaning the real people with heartbreak at stake.  Media are the people who surround them looking to pick up a sound bite and carry it home to feed a hungry 24-hour format.


We have, since those days, smothered reality.  We've bent it and shaped it into something useful.  If somebody doesn't cry enough, move the camera to somebody who does.  If an overweight mother cries too much, look for her telegenic daughter.  In the age of television, we audition catastrophe.


Back then in Farmington, we found the principal of a local high school who was furious.


"We try to teach them," he said.  "We do our best to educate them - to give them a way out.  But they all go back down in the same damned mines."


Schneider took a photo from a cemetery on a hill.  It showed the gravestones of the miners who had gone to that high school and died in that town.  And then we left.  But I took a piece of West Virginia with me, and I carry it to this day.  They are tough down there in West Virginia.  They are nothing to make fun of.


They have pride.  They shift for themselves.  And they ask for nothing.


They are the best of America.  After last week's disaster at the Sago Mine, the miners said they wanted to go back underground to work.  That high school principal, if he hasn't retired, is probably still frustrated.


But I saw some miners interviewed.  One of them explained that the mines were in his blood.  And that his fellow miners were his brothers.  And that you don't just quit.


God bless the hillbilly hicks.  They are the pilot light of America.


Contact Dick Feagler at: dfeagler@plaind.com, 216-999-5757









Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 11:31 AM
<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>



I believe that this is one of the most important elections for school board in many years.  It is evident by the number of candidates running the people feel this current board has not acted in response to the people they were elected to serve.


The attempted lawsuit against the county shows they are out of touch with the reality we citizens are facing here during these tough economic times so many people are contending with now.  The current board has allowed wasteful and excessive spending while not focusing on the true mission of education.


Until the people elect those individuals that will balance the true needs of our system and at the same time acknowledge the shape our county is in we will continue to have the abuses and excess by those in positions of authority.


It is time to take back our school system and truly serve all the people’s needs.  I urge everyone to please go out and vote.


I ask that you cast your vote for Rob Hairfield, James Stamey, and Janice Brown on November 8th.


Remember voting costs you nothing----not voting could cost you plenty,









From: Doug Greene [mailto:doug@directus.net]
Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 8:14 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Plant Closings


According to the Lenoir New Topic "Broyhill is closing two plants in Lenoir Caldwell County area.  Plant Chair 1 & the Veneer Plant."  President CEO "Harvey Dondero" was not available for comment Wednesday.  The start of the Fall Home Furnishings in High Point, he discussed the company's struggles and that are aimed at keeping Broyhill among the top companies.  Also is his strategies implemented during his first six months at Broyhill top executive include restructuring to bring overhead cost down under control, working with the retailer base and renewing and strengthening the company's Gallery Program".  It sounds like his plan is closing all the Furniture Plants.  That was his goal from the start.  421 jobs are going to be lost because of him.  It is just a matter of time before all of these furniture companies will be closing because of what happened 20 years ago.  Now people are hurting bad.  The furniture industry is on its way out.  People years ago had a chance to vote a Union In the county but they were too job scared.  Now they are paying the price.  They are closing down any.  That is all that I have to say.  More info later.








From: tracy_wilson@bellsouth.net [mailto:tracy_wilson@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 12:26 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Letting off some steam


I have been trying to get a hold of Grant Seeker Pro out in CA, but as usual I am getting the run around.  I hope and pray that all who decide to buy anything from www.grantseekerpro.com will reconsider after they read this.  They hang up when you call, all you disgusting names, and are just in general rude.  I have been trying all morning to get someone other than "Tina", preferably a supervisor, but all to no avail.  To all who read this, if you need a grant, find someone else to help you!!  Boycott the people at Grant Seeker Pro.




Webmaster:  You ought to report them to the Rip Off Reports website.















From: Doug Greene [mailto:doug@directus.net]
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 11:22 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: about Caldwell County


   "Caldwell is going down fast.”   Back about 25 years ago the furniture factories wanted all the other companies out.  They did not want other companies coming in because they were afraid out stealing their workers and paying them more.  People should have got the Union in the county then.  I knew people were job scared but Caldwell County would been a lot better off.  They could have brought more industry in here and we would have not been in the shape that we are in.  Also the Cruising Law.  You ran all the people out of the county.  I know that you don't have it any more but the damage has already been done.  Caldwell County should have thought about that 25 years ago when they would run everybody off the Sonic and other places in the City.  Now you don't have to worry about people coming up town any more because you run them off years ago.  I hope you are happy now.  You have to pay for what you have done years ago.  I hope you are happy now.  No body goes up town any more because what you done years ago.

Because Caldwell County is going to become a Ghost Town now.  All the jobs are going to China.  It is just a matter of time before all the Furniture jobs are gone.

                                                   Doug Greene
















From: robh@foothillscommunity.net [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Saturday, October 22, 2005 8:34 PM
Subject: thank you for allowing me to tell the TRUTH!! Rob Hairfield




Please allow me to respond to two issues that I feel may affect my candidacy for a seat on the Burke County Board of Education.


First, I feel that you as voting citizens will suffer a grave injustice at the hands of our local newspaper due to the fact that I have been denied the opportunity to respond to a survey with a prepared statement as to my candidacy for a seat on the Board of Education.  Secondly, I was asked to attend an interview with Dave Crawley, Duke Conover, and one of their staff reporters to answer prepared questions.  The interview lasted for approximately thirty minutes and I answered their questions openly and honestly.  When the results of the interview were printed in the paper, I was disturbed to find that the article was distorted and many of my answers were not reported.


As to the survey I received, there were some questions that I truly felt were not relevant to my candidacy for school board.  Included was-----married or not, where you worked, number of children, if you lived at an address less than three years.  I felt one question in particular was very inappropriate; tell the voters one reason why they should not vote for your opponent(s).  Again, having been denied the opportunity to use my prepared statement that explained my candidacy in detail, the Sunday edition of the paper reported “No Response” to the survey.


The Wednesday edition of the paper reported an edited version of the interview and question period that I attended.  They failed to report some of my answers but published a response to a question as to my employment status when I specifically told them, “off the record”, “I am not employed at this time”.  My personal request was not honored and it was reported that I was unemployed.


I did inform them that I had one daughter, and six grandchildren.  I also stated that four of them were in the school system.  The fact I had grandchildren in the school system was not mentioned.


I was asked if I ever held an elected office to which I responded, “I was president of the student body at WPCC for two terms and that it had never been done in the history of the college”.  This fact was not mentioned.


I was asked about administrators and I responded that I felt there needed to be some changes made in the finance department.  The answer did not appear in the article.


I was asked if I ever had any criminal charges or infractions on my record.  I sent a written statement to the editor, and he said it would be included in the article, but again it was not.


Recently, a staff reporter was sent to my home to ask me about my past record.  It is ironic to me that my past suddenly appears to be an issue but was not even spoken to or mentioned in 2003 when I was a candidate for the Board of Education.  I can only surmise that my 2003 candidacy was viewed as a farce and that now I am viewed as a realistic candidate who has a chance to win the current election.  I feel this tactic is an overt attempt to undermine my candidacy and taint the public view of me by the timely unprincipled reporting of something that occurred in my “private life”.


It is truly an American tragedy that any paper would resort to such shoddy and dishonorable practices.  I have had numerous disagreements with this editor and the paper for the last 3 plus years in that they will not allow an American citizen and Vietnam veteran to tell the citizens of this county the truth.  This newspaper has resorted to what I refer to as “tabloid journalism” the likes of The National Inquirer.  I honestly feel that I do not need to apologize for attempting to do what I think is right and in the best interests of the school system and the citizens of Burke County by telling the truth.  There is no defense needed for the truth.








Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 11:15 PM




Our founding fathers exemplified unselfishness as Americans have throughout American history.  Our founding fathers were willing to sacrifice their own fortunes and even their lives for the birth of our Republic.  Our founding fathers knew that freedom and democracy would never survive without God’s law.


When many institutions of higher academia and our public schools have become breeding ground for anti-God, secular humanism.  It is rare and refreshing to observe those individuals of strong, moral character who will never quit concerning their stands for absolute truth.


Also, with the right character, it is rare to observe those individuals who make unselfish sacrifices for our children and grandchildren concerning the best education for them.  According to my observation of Mr. James Stamey who is a candidate for the Burke County Board of Education, Mr. Stamey is an example of those rare individuals of moral character and unselfish sacrifice.


Mr. Stamey knows that if he were elected to the school board to represent the students and all citizens, he would be required by law to resign his job at Ray Childers Elementary School.  Mr. Stamey’s unselfish sacrifice to lose his job to serve on our school board, and be compensated only $125 monthly, tells me much about his character.  He is not self-serving, nor hypocritical.  He will lead our school system with a positive attitude for optimum improvement.  He will work diligently for all students.


How many candidates for public office would be willing to sacrifice their jobs for the future of our children?  Since Mr. Stamey is the youngest candidate for our school board, he can and will, identify with all young voters.


Larry W. Thurston

Morganton, N.C.














Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 11:14 PM




There is one race for the eastern seat on the Burke County Board of Education that needs to be addressed.


After my evaluation of Mrs. Janice Brown, I am absolutely convinced that she will make a positive difference for our children and grandchildren in our public schools.  First of all, Mrs. Brown is a businesswoman with ethical, common sense characteristics to make a positive difference.


Mrs. Brown firmly adheres to the democratic principle that our school board must serve all the people.  In order to improve education in the maximum direction our school board must help all our students by listening to, and abide by the people.


Mrs. Brown believes in building two high schools; however, our school board must make sure that the sites to build these schools are the best areas in our county.  There are many disadvantages to the proposed sites.  The board has had nineteen months to locate sites advantageous to build these schools, but this board has been dragging their feet until now before the school board election.  In order impress the voters of Burke County; these incumbents for re-election are trying to look favorably to the people by being determined to build these two schools at the disadvantaged sites.


Mrs. Brown will exemplify credibility, integrity, and accountability, and expect the same out of all who work for our board.  Leadership by example is a must!


Furthermore, Mrs. Brown will always respect our military veterans and honor our fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice.  She will also ensure that all guests who give public comments before our board will always be treated respectfully.


Please vote for Janice Brown.


Larry W. Thurston

Morganton, N.C.











Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 3:46 PM
Mrs. Rector is a retired educator, highly regarded and a former school board member 1995


To the editor:


In response to Mr. Rudicil’s letter of Oct. 19th, I didn’t accuse any school board member of sending the Email on Monday before the election of 2003, stating that Rob Hairfield would cut teacher supplements.  I do not know who sent it, but maybe Mr. Rudicil knows.  I do know that on Saturday after the election Mr. David Burleson walked up to Mr. Hairfield at the Rotary Club’s breakfast and said, “Rob, I want you to know that I did not have anything to do with that Email”.


Did you know that in 2004 the top 25 administrators in the Burke County schools were making over 1.6 million dollars?  Most of the administrators are sitting in their offices thinking up ways to give teachers more to do in order to justify their positions.  Will we ever get back to allowing teachers to teach and give them credit for having some sense?


I believe that the News Herald would not have done to anyone else in Burke County what they have done to Rob Hairfield.  In my opinion, they have stooped to the lowest of low.  I am not condoning drinking but I do want to know why you don’t do this to every big-wig in Burke County?  Months back Duke Conover would not print a letter that Rob had written in memoriam to a friend because he had heard that Rob might be filing for the school board.  How ridiculous!  What is the News Herald and the school system afraid of?


Will the people of Burke County stand and allow the News Herald to elect the school board?  Please get out and vote.


I will be canceling my subscription to the News Herald and from now on will read The Voice of the Foothills that comes out free on Wednesdays.


Geraldine Rector

Morganton, N. C.








Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 9:11 AM
<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>

To the editor:


The writer said, “Speak your truth quietly and clearly”.  Max Ehrmann, Desiderata. 


For the past few years I have read Rob Hairfield’s letters and columns to the editor concerning issues in our school system and he has done just that. I had the chance to meet and speak with Mr. Hairfield on two occasions and found him to be very knowledgeable about many aspects of the schools and public education.


He is open and above all, he is honest in his thoughts and feelings. He tells it like it is and doesn’t put the spin on it or does he worry about being “politically correct”. He has a great memory for facts and details, which impressed me as well as a vast recall of events from the past, i.e. meetings, letters he wrote years ago, and conversations with people he had on a variety of topics.


I believe he would be a great asset to our school board and as a fellow Vietnam veteran I plan to support him as well as James Stamey and Janice Brown. I urge all veterans to consider looking at these candidates compared with the rest that are running. I know that Mr. Hairfield and Mr. Stamey have been preparing for this election for about two years. Many other candidates have only taken an interest within the past few months.


In view of the recent threatened lawsuit by the school board against the county commissioners and all the taxpayers in Burke County, I feel that the make-up of the board needs to be changed and the incumbents need to “go to the house”. Let’s try some new ideas and some that don’t just follow the beat of the administration’s drum.


Vote for Rob Hairfield, James Stamey, and Janice Brown on November 8th.


Dennis Lane

Morganton, N.C.














Sent: Friday, October 14, 2005 4:15 PM
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Although our elected Burke County Board of Education derives its power only from the people in order to make school policy, who is really master and who is really servant?  Hopefully, a large number of registered voters in Burke County will go to the polls on November 8th, to remind this school board that the people are the master, and this school board must serve their master or be replaced.


In my opinion, it is rare to have a local school board who really represents the people of our county.  Retrospectively, Mrs. Geraldine Rector was an example of a school board member who demonstrated Credibility, Integrity, and Accountability along with truly representing the people.


Herewith are some reasons why we need to change three faces on this school board.  During this past summer, this current board voted for litigation against our Burke County Commission Board for more funding for our school system.  It appears to me that we need a school board who will hire an impartial, independent auditor, preferably an auditor outside the state of North Carolina, who will really do a fair audit of all financial records in our school system. The people have a right to know how this school system spends the people’s money.


We, the people need “common sense” leadership on this school board.  Credibility, Integrity, and Accountability are necessary characteristics that must be demonstrated by our elected school board and the hired bureaucracy.  Are we, the people, perceiving these qualities to date?


I personally recommend to the voters of Burke County that they vote for Rob Hairfield, Jams Stamey, and Janice Brown.  These candidates for this school board will serve the people and demonstrate  C---I---A!


Robert Love

Morganton, N.C.







Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2005 4:55 PM
<![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]>

ACCOUNTABILITY----Larry Thurston


    We expect our public school teachers to meet high standards and to be held accountable in the education of our students.  Our students are held accountable in their efforts to complete required courses to graduate.  However, do we actually observe accountability exemplified from our Burke County Board of Education and from the hired bureaucracy?


    Herewith are questions that must be addressed concerning accountability.  When the chairman of our school board told me and my fellow veterans that this school board will consider the closing of our schools on National Memorial Day to see whether it is an “educational” or a “politically correct” decision, can this disrespectful, arrogant behavior extend to any citizen?


    Who is accountable to whom concerning the spending of the people’s money in your school system?  Although the school board settled with the county commissioners concerning their pending lawsuit for more money, it seems to me that our current school board should have hired an impartial, independent auditor, who has NO ties to county and state politics, to scrutinize the financial records of our school system.


    Does this school board present a poor image of leadership concerning “nepotism” and “spoils system” in our school system?  It seems obvious that “good old’ boys” politics precede “common sense” leadership for the education of our students.  I respect freedom of expression from any person; however, when relatives of our school employees and business interests with our schools defend the school system’s leadership, could this be an apparent conflict of interest?


    Mr. James Stamey will be a voice for the people, especially the young voters whom Mr. Stamey can identify with.  Please vote for Rob Hairfield, James Stamey, and Janice Brown.


Accountability will be a reality.


Larry Thurston

3911 Brandy Street

Morganton, N.C.








From: Margaret t
Sent: Sunday, October 02, 2005 5:37 PM
To: dave@burketruth.com
Subject: blog


Hi Dave,


Read with interest your blog today.  Keep it coming.  We are reading.  Have a good time at the fair, ride the ferris wheel, laugh, have fun, enjoy the moment.  Hope to get a schedule of your upcoming classes, hopefully, you will do spreadsheets.      Margaret T.














Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 7:51 PM

Subject: COPY of VFW letter


To the editor:


As a veteran of the Vietnam War and Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5362 I was deeply concerned over the situation recently when several veterans went before the Board of Education about the fact the Burke County Schools were scheduled to be open on Memorial Day 2006.


Although due to health issues I was not able to attend that meeting on June 6th, I had Senior Vice Commander Steve McCall and Trustee Jim Mace to represent the VFW Post with my full confidence.  I was deeply disappointed and shocked by the reception these veterans and Mr. Larry Thurston got by this current school board.


I was especially angered by the chairman’s comments that the decision would have to be referred back to a committee to determine whether it was an “education issue” or if it was “politically correct”.  The other thing that appalled me was the lack of any responses by other members regarding that statement. The last thing a Vietnam vet wants to hear is anything having to do with what is “politically correct”.  This indicated to me that the entire board were all like-minded on this and showed no signs of any concern as to what was just said by their chairman.


Since then I have met and spoken with Rob Hairfield, James Stamey, and Janice Brown.  Mr. Hairfield in particular was upset since he too, was in the Navy serving during the Vietnam era.  He assured me that if he were on the board, the Burke County Schools would be closed on both Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. He further stated there would be no discussion, or no negotiation as to the matter, “Not on my watch”, were his words.


I believe it is time to elect some new members to the Board of Education that can best speak up for those people they are elected to represent.  Therefore, I am going to support Mr. Hairfield, Mr. Stamey, and Mrs. Brown in the upcoming Board of Education election on November 8th.


Max Warlick

Post Commander

VFW Post 5362

Morganton, N.C.











Rob Hairfield


Hello, my name is Rob Hairfield. This year there are eleven candidates seeking the privilege of being your representative on the Burke County Board of Education. I would like to be one of the three representatives that will be elected by you in November of this year. As parents and voters I would hope that you would look at these candidates and ask yourself three questions: (1) Who are the people running? (2) Why have they decided to run? and (3) Which candidates have really prepared themselves for this office?


Would you please think of my answer to those three questions when you consider Rob Hairfield? I have lived in Burke County for over fifty years and am truly concerned about the future of the education system. I am a candidate who believes that the citizens of Burke County deserve a representative who will focus on credibility, integrity, and accountability.  Over the past six years I have spent countless hours attending school board and commissioner meetings where I gathered and studied critical data from reliable sources, as well as securing documents from the school system so I could properly prepare myself to be your representative on the Board of Education.


Two years ago, I was the only candidate for the Board of Education that had any platform of issues that would have been addressed if I had been elected.  They included pay reviews for the lower paid hourly employees, reduction of fund raisers by students, and getting more money in the classrooms for principals and teachers to use to do their jobs better.  Unfortunately those issues still remain and have not been addressed other than by broken promises and “lip service”.


Our school system has an annual budget from all sources of over $116 million and I think we need to look at our board members as if they were directors on the board of a major corporation, and see if they are active in the decision making processes of running our school system or are they merely “rubber stamping” decisions based on the recommendations of the current administrators?  I believe that there has been too much “rubber stamping” over the past few years.


I believe the current board has not met the responsibility of representing the citizens of Burke County in that they have not always been responsive to the people that elected them with the decisions they have made.  For example, please recall the school bond issue of 2002, and the recent threatened lawsuit against our county commissioners.  Are these actions the definition of credibility, integrity, and accountability?


I pledge to you that it is my sincere desire to restore credibility to the Board of Education.  I will work diligently to restore integrity to a board that has been under scrutiny lately concerning some of the decisions that have been made and the reasons behind those decisions.  Lastly, and most importantly, I will work to ensure honest accountability to the taxpayers of Burke County who should expect no less than responsible fiscal control from their elected board members.


I ask you to look closely at the candidates’ qualifications this year, and believe when all things are taken into consideration, that it’s time for a change on the Board of Education and that a new direction and focus are needed.


I’m Rob Hairfield and I am seeking your support and vote on November 8th.  As we work together, we can, and we will move forward as the Burke County Public School system faces the many new challenges ahead in the future.








From: robh@foothillscommunity.net [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 9:08 AM
To: Dave Tubergen
Subject: Please put this in the reader's comments section thank you




Recently the Board of Education voted to sue the county commissioners for not approving their budget request giving them an increase of well over $1 million above last year. This budget if approved would have forced the commissioners to raise our property tax rate five cents per hundred.


The two boards met in a series of negotiations and avoided the potential lawsuit saving thousands of tax dollars if carried through, and in this writer’s opinion, a suit the schools could not have won.


As a result of the agreement reached each board picked members, three from the school board and two from the commissioners, to serve on a committee to promote a new program called “Buy in Burke”.  This program is designed to encourage people to spend their money in Burke County and thereby generating additional revenue from the one cent sales tax.


Then the school board votes to approve awarding a contract for over $2.3 million to a construction firm in Catawba County, even though two other companies, one of which is located here in Burke County and employs about 150 people, both submitted bids that combined were some $71,xxx less than the company that was originally selected by the school board.  First they want to sue the county for not having enough money, and then vote to spend over $71,xxx more than necessary.


The two contractors not chosen then file a protest of the decision and the school board’s only justification is ‘supposedly’ the architect said it would be easier to deal with only one company if problems arose.  Is that reason worth $71,xxx?  Is that the compelling evidence needed to justify the need for not accepting the lower bids?  Of course the architect may have a vested interest ($’s) in that his fee is usually a percentage of the total cost of the project.


The school board now has reversed its original decision rather than face the possibility of additional lawsuits and costing the taxpayers even more money.


First they want to sue the county for not having enough money then vote to spend/waste $71,xxx more than necessary.  Then they claim to promote and support “Buy in Burke” but vote a $2.3 million contact out of the county that could have triggered more big lawsuits costing us even more money.  What are they thinking?  Or, are they thinking?


It’s time for a change!  We need to send this board a message this November.  I don’t know what others will do, but as for me, I will vote for three new board members on November 8th,   Rob Hairfield—James Stamey—Janice Brown.













The first amendment to our U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an established religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances”.


From 1949 to 1987, our government had a policy called the Fairness Doctrine that was supposed to create fair and balanced reporting on controversial issues to be aired on radio and TV stations. However, instead of fair and balanced reporting, the so-called Fairness Doctrine muted many conservative broadcasters off the airwaves. The liberal media, with the help of our federal government, pushed their left-wing ideology and propaganda across the airwaves.


In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission repealed the so-called Fairness Doctrine. Many conservatives involved in talk radio sprang up including Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan and Sean Hannity.


The left became perplexed because they could not compete with conservative talk radio. The left’s efforts at duplicating talk radio even with the help from wealthy benefactors have proven a failure. The leftists complain that conservative dominance in talk radio is not fair. They want the federal government to revive the old, so-called Fairness Doctrine that will enable left-wing talk radio to be forced onto the airwaves. According to the Heritage Foundation, “These liberals are determined to bring back the bad old days when Washington decided who could say what on America’s public airwaves”.


It seems to me that a correlation exists between the left trying to revive the old, so-called Fairness Doctrine to force their ideology and a certain local newspaper. This local newspaper’s editor and publisher apparently are pushing their so-called rules, but prevent the people from reading the whole truth and censor public comments. Moreover, these anonymous letters to the editor are not fair to those who are identified in letters and columns.


The job of the press is to report unbiased information, to offer a level playing field, and to refrain from censorship of free expression. However, this writer believes the editor of the daily paper is biased in reporting and has some hidden agenda when has failed to print the facts about the veterans and the Burke County School Board at two board meetings. This same editor never printed that Chairman Buddy Armour insulted the fallen heroes and the veterans with his “politically correct” expression about Memorial Day. Also that editor failed to print the facts about the June 30th board meeting.  The veterans never apologized to the school board as that editor reported; however, after my meeting with the editor and publisher, a correction was eventually printed in small print at the bottom right corner of the front page. This writer submitted a videotape of that meeting to prove the events.


This writer believes undoubtedly that the daily paper’s editor has deleted my statements, omitted words, and paraphrased my columns in his local newspaper. He has habitually allowed too many grammatical and typographical errors to be printed in my columns, and has never corrected as per my requests. The editor even changed a quote made to me by the school superintendent, and made it appear that the quote came from a school board member. This is unethical journalism, according to my belief.


It is my understanding this editor’s wife is a current teacher in our local system. Could it be this editor has a conflict of interest? Furthermore, it is my observation and opinion this editor has constantly censored Mr. Rob Hairfield’s columns. He even failed to print a scheduled column because the management at the local paper surmised that Mr. Hairfield would be a candidate for the local school board in the November election. However, Mr. Hairfield had not officially filed at that time, but was going to do so after the column was to have run and prior to the August 5th, deadline.


It appears to me that this same editor demonstrates censorship of information and of public comments when this information or comments question and confirm the arrogance and lack of leadership in our local school system. It also appears to me that the editor has played the school board and veterans concerning the Memorial Day matter to sell newspapers. However, why have so many subscriptions been cancelled?


Freedom of the press is not a license to abridge free expression. It is understandable when editing libelous remarks and words in poor taste become necessary. However, any newspaper editor should respect our first amendment rights when any citizen makes public comment to be published in any newspaper. In order for the people to be informed, any editor should ensure that the facts are reported.


It seems to me when any editor and publisher cannot demonstrate ethical journalism, then the honorable action to take is resignation or be terminated and replaced with honorable, ethical individuals.













From: robh@foothillscommunity.net [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2005 2:22 PM
To: The people of Burke County
Subject: announcement




Once upon a time in Burke County things were better. I’ve lived here, worked here more than fifty years and tried to do what I thought was right for all the people in Burke County. Politics doesn’t have to be a “dirty word”. Yet time and again it is used negatively and that surely wasn’t what the founding fathers of our nation intended when they drafted the Constitution.


I will not condone cover-up. Nor will I hide hypocrisy. I will not promote propaganda or support false representation to the people of Burke County. These people are my friends, my family, my neighbors and deserve better than to be looked down upon or told untruths.


I do not believe in the using of fear tactics to try to create a false illusion so that self-serving people can continue their waste of the people’s assets, resources and money.


I will work hard and I will be open and honest with the people of Burke County.


I will hear the voice of the people. I will always do what I feel is in their best interests. I don’t care if it doesn’t make me the “Most Popular” person. At least I will go to sleep at night knowing I did what I felt was the right thing to do and hope the people will judge me on that basis and respect me for being the way I am.


I hope by so doing that once again things in Burke County will be better for all the people and then it would be as it always was truly intended to be—a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.


I announce my intention to run for a seat on the Board of Education and ask for your support and vote on November 8th.  My number is in the telephone book—feel free to call anytime about any issues or questions you may have.


Rob Hairfield










The real reason we can't have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse? You cannot post "Thou shalt not steal", "thou shalt not commit adultery", and "Thou shalt not lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment!







From: robh@foothillscommunity.net [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 9:37 PM
To: Dave Tubergen
Subject: Larry Thurston’s letter and how the editor hacked it up.




National Memorial Day is a special day for Americans to reflect, to communicate, and to honor all fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for our precious liberties and for the preservation of our heritage and democracy. We must reflect endlessly on the sacrifices our men and women make while serving in the U.S. military forces.


Due to the dark side of human nature, tyranny continues to raise its ugly head to crush our freedoms. Dwight D. Eisenhower, our 34th president said, “History does not long entrust care of freedom to the weak and timid”.


During Vietnam and cold war eras, this writer served my country as an enlisted soldier and a commissioned U.S. Army officer. Memories of the disrespectful, careless behaviors to toward fallen heroes and veterans of Vietnam will never totally disappear. Historically, regardless of political persuasions, Americans have united in full support of our U.S. military personnel except during the Vietnam era. For simply following orders, doing the job, and with lives placed in harm’s way to help contain the spread of evil, atheistic communism in Southeast Asia, Vietnam veterans were disrespected and dishonored.


The far left, represented by “Hanoi Jane” Fonda, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, the liberal media, pseudo-intellectuals of higher academia, the psychedelic sex and drug culture, and the misguided were instrumental in dividing America over Vietnam and dishonored all fallen heroes and veterans of this conflict. “Hanoi Jane” should have been prosecuted and tried for treason in federal court. These hateful, inexcusable behaviors from these activists inflicted wounds on Vietnam veterans that have never totally healed.


Since the attacks on America on 9-11 by the Islamic fascists, most Americans rally and support our military personnel in their struggles against terrorism, against the insurgents in Iraq, and against any revival of the Taliban in Afghanistan. However, the far left, not appreciating the fact that these fallen heroes died for their free speech, continue their activism to divide our country and to weaken America’s resolve to defeat an enemy with whom you can never negotiate. The weak and timid character of the far left conveys a message to our enemies that Americans will tire and not continue to have the stomach to endure.


We, band of brothers, served our country in all branches of the U.S. military, followed orders from a chain of command whose objective was to implement strategies to accomplish the mission. We, band of brothers, never engaged in any insurrection nor attempted any “mutiny on the Bounty” while serving our country. We, band of brothers, always have a higher responsibility and duty. The cadets at West Point are trained to lead by example based on this saying, “Duty, honor, country”. Remember, freedom is never free in this world. Hopefully, the folks at home will never forget the unselfish sacrifices.


Recently this writer received a copy of the 2005-2006 calendar schedule of the Burke County Public Schools. To my attention on this calendar, school is scheduled to be open on National Memorial Day, 2006. What could have happened? Surely, the leadership in our school system made an unintentional oversight. However, after my conversations with three board members and the superintendent, this writer never received any acknowledgment of any error nor any commitment to correct the calendar. Our children and teenagers need to know undoubtedly that the Burke County Public Schools remember all fallen heroes by closing school on National Memorial Day.


The responses this writer received from the leadership were buck-passing, lack of responsibility, and no commitment. According to board member, Mr. Bill Simmons, our superintendent told him that [a school calendar committee (no board member is on this committee) would meet to discuss the matter] ORIGINAL ARTICLE WORDING—rewritten wording by Duke Conover—a school calendar committee has discussed the matter and shifted the blame to the General Assembly in Raleigh for “locking them in a box” so the school system is not flexible to make Memorial Day a holiday.


The following is what editor Duke Conover left out of the column—When this writer talked with Mr. Burleson; the superintendent never mentioned any planned meeting of the calendar committee to discuss the matter. He gave me lip service and shifted the blame to the General Assembly in Raleigh for “locking them in a box” so the school system is not flexible to make Memorial Day a holiday.


After conversations with two state legislators, Mr. Mitch Gillespie and Mr. Jimmy Jacumin, these gentlemen had no knowledge that the state is inflexible causing schools to be open on National Memorial Day.


It seems to me that our local school board needs to lead by example, and declare unanimously that every year the Burke County Public Schools will be closed in observance of National Memorial Day. This next part was also omitted by the editor—[Since this superintendent is an excellent “spin doctor” and fails to lead on this very important matter, and then]. If the board does not act decisively to change one day on the school calendar, hopefully, the people and all veterans of Burke County will be heard.


Dave- you can what we’re up against with this editor protecting this superintendent and the school system. His wife works for the system at Walter Johnson Middle School. I have had nothing but trouble with Duke for over 3 years. Now he is censoring Larry’s letters and re-writing them as he does mine.  We’ll see if he prints my column tomorrow I emailed you about Credibility Lost and how bad he hacks it up. Larry wanted you to please put this in your Reader’s Comments block. Thank you Rob Hairfield












From: Sandra Walker [mailto:sandicw@msn.com]
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2005 7:22 PM
To: Friends

Subject: 3 Bullets

There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat. He had an old shotgun and three bullets. So, he decided that he would go out and kill something for dinner.

As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit and he shot at the rabbit and missed it.

Then he saw squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel and missed it.

As he went further, he saw a wild turkey in the tree and he had only one bullet, but a voice came to him and said, "Pray first, aim high and stay focused."

However, at the same time, he saw a deer which was a better kill. He brought the gun down and aimed at the deer.

But, then he saw a rattlesnake between his legs about to bite him, so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattlesnake. 

Still, the voice said again to him, "I said 'Pray, aim high and stay focused."

So, the man decided to listen to the voice. He prayed, then aimed the gun high up in the tree and shot the wild turkey.

The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer. The handle fell off the gun and hit the snake in the head and killed it. And, when the gun had gone off, it knocked him into a pond. When he stood up to look around, he had fish in all his pockets, a dead deer and a turkey to eat..

The snake (Satan) was dead simply because the man listened to God.

Moral of the story:

Pray first before you do anything, aim and shoot high in your goals, and stay focused on God.

Never let others discourage you concerning your past. The past is exactly that: "the past."

Live every day one day at a time, and remember that only God knows our future and that he will not put you through any more than you can bear.

Do not look to man for your blessings, but look to the doors that only He has prepared in advance for you in your favor.

Wait, be still and patient: keep God first and everything else will follow.

Pass this on in order that someone else might be blessed.











From: robh@foothillscommunity.net [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 2:12 PM
To: Friends




There are over twenty departments and agencies that rely on funding from Burke County. However only one displayed any demonstrations to the Board of Commissioners concerning why they weren’t getting all the money they asked for in the coming budget year.


It was the Board of Education and the Burke County Public Schools. I’ve been around awhile and went to more than a few meetings, but I have never seen such an orchestrated show as was encouraged by Board Chairman Buddy Armour and the administration of our school system.


The distortions of reality and DIS-information that was put out to the people who came to speak to the commissioners was absolutely the worst demonstration of leadership and deception I have ever witnessed.


The principals, parents, and people speaking for the system were told there would be major layoffs, including teachers. A family relative of a commissioner, who is a second year teacher, was told their job was in jeopardy. A person from that school wrote a letter to the commissioner saying the same thing. I wonder if Mr. Armour’s daughter, also a second year teacher, was threatened with job loss? Or was board member Lander Corpening’s wife, a second year school system employee, threatened with loss of her job? What type of leadership is this? It’s pitiful, that’s what kind!


Then there was the myth that funding and building the new schools was in trouble and we may not get to build them now. The $40 million C.O.P. was put into place in March of 2004 and it in no way is affected by this year’s budget. It’s been almost 16 months and the system still doesn’t even own any property to put the high schools on, and so if any blame is to be placed on someone about why the schools can’t/won’t be built, then I suggest the people look to the Central Office and get ready for the “spin story” of woes and doom.


Reduced class size K-3 pretty much has been established by Raleigh and so not getting the $741,xxx from the county is not going to shut down the program. It is not going to scrap the high schools. It is not going to require the loss of twenty jobs at maintenance or other areas.


These were all part of the fear tactics used by Mr. Armour and the administration. To hear them talk the sky is falling, the world is going to end on July 1st when the new budget year begins, and education as we know it will cease to exist.


Instead of beating up the commissioners with threats of legal action and lawsuits, as if the school system doesn’t have enough lawsuits going on now, they should get together with all the superintendents and other school boards across the state and march to Raleigh, surround the Capitol, and “lay siege” to the General Assembly and Governor to get the money that has been withheld from the schools for the past two years. Ironically the amount held back this year is around $750,000.


Another issue that won’t go away and needs to be taken care of is the one-cent sales tax allotment with all the money going to the school’s capital outlay fund (minus the very small amount that goes to the towns in Burke County). When our county manager pointed out to the superintendent, Mr. Armour (board chairman), and Mr. Martinat (finance sub-committee chairman) that the one-cent tax had generated almost $800,000 more this year than last, they all appeared dumbfounded. Apparently the Finance Officer may not have bothered to tell those men that interesting bit of information. Aren’t we lucky in Burke County to have a county manager that does “his homework”?


All in all, the entire sequence of events was one tragic example of the lack of leadership and the type of leadership this current board has displayed over the past four years. If this is their definition of leadership, then it sure is vastly different from mine.


One last thing, why is it whenever there is talk about layoffs or job reductions, it is always the lowest paid people at the bottom of the ladder that get threatened? Most of the time these are the folks that work the hardest and get the least pay and treatment. If the schools really need to cut their costs and reduce jobs, I know of a few in the Central Office that could be done away with and no one would miss them. (Note to our superintendent—David when I say Central Office I don’t mean just there where your office is. I am referring to all bureaucratic, non-educational related, administrative positions throughout the system making over $40,000 per year.)


Sending five or six of them “to the house” would cover the $741,xxx that this current school board wants to sue the county over for not getting enough money. I said in an earlier letter, it’s not that the system doesn’t have enough money and is always asking for more, it is they have plenty of money but choose not to spend it wisely.


If the school system is going to “close down” due to the loss of $741,xxx out of a total budget of over $116 million, there is something rotten in the state of Denmark!


Rob Hairfield












From: robh@foothillscommunity.net [mailto:robh@foothillscommunity.net]
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 2:13 PM
To: Friends




In February 2005 the Finance Officer of the Burke County Public Schools answered a direct question from one of the commissioners, “Could the school system buy and prepare land, build two high schools, and the athletic facilities for $40 million?” The answer was, “Yes”.


Then the school system presented its budget to the commissioners and if fully funded it would require a tax rate increase of 5 or 6 cents per $100 value. The commissioners said they could not and would not approve the funding request.


Then the school board voted to pursue mediation to present their case. Earlier this month the school system was saying they would now need $45 million to build the two high schools saying the price of everything has gone up. I can remember when gasoline was under thirty cents a gallon. It has been 16 months since they got approval from the previous board for the $40 million they asked for and as yet the school system doesn’t even own the property for the schools. If the system keeps on dragging its feet soon it will cost us $50-60 million to build the high schools. Build one down east with the $40 million that was approved for 1,500 students and let’s move on.


Also the proposed science labs and auxiliary gym projects are put on hold. Recently it was found out that the renovation of the field house at Freedom High School has been halted because the school system doesn’t have the money. Chairman Armour said that FEMA didn’t give them the money. However, the state of North Carolina put up $230 million for the victims of the flood damages last year. The finance officer told the board at an earlier meeting they were getting $118,000 for the project but that it wouldn’t be enough to also repair damages to the track. Didn’t the Freedom Boosters also raise several thousands of dollars for use on this project? So why has this project also been halted?


The money made from the recent sale of the house built by the vocational class at the high school raised several thousand dollars when the house was sold. This money has been grabbed by the finance officer rather than going back into the program. The daycare operations are also being used as a source of raising funds and a new position has been added to monitor that situation.


When two of the top officials make statements to the effect that, “I’ve been known to pad the numbers to get what I want” and, “I can make these figures do anything I want”, causes me great concern that the credibility of this system and the current board is in sad shape. I would go so far as to say it is pitiful.




The top 25 administrators/bureaucrats in the school system have salaries of over $1.6 million. Seven or eight of these salaries are funded with county money. Twenty-one of the twenty-five receive salary supplements from local funds of 5.5 percent for just over $100,000. The top three administrators travel allowances and bonuses of $29,000 come from county funds. We used to have only two maintenance supervisors in 1999, now we have about eight or nine all making around $40,000 each. Each one has a county vehicle to drive and most all drive them back and forth to work each day. Two live in other counties.


Furthermore, the schools used from capital outlay funds $255,xxx to pay for legal fees in settling the dispute between them and the contractor that built W.A.Young and Ray Childers schools. They also spent $500,000 for a study as to the mold and mildew problems there. The school system received $1.5 million from the settlement, and it was also reported in the paper the schools got $2.x million from an insurance policy payment.


Board chairman Armour stated the school system is paying off for three middle schools and will be done in 2010. Only two of those schools are under that bond issue of 1990, Heritage and Liberty Middle Schools. We were told in the paper Walter Johnson was bought and paid for and came in 20 percent under budget for about $12.3 million, which meant they originally had about $15 million in their capital outlay fund for that school. The leftover balance should have been enough to do the auxiliary gyms and start the science lab projects.


Maybe, just maybe if the system wasn’t adding numerous new positions to their payroll and using local money to pay for them they may have the money they should have but now say they do not.


It’s called accountability where I come from. Apparently, the school system and this current board don’t think that accountability should apply to them and have acted accordingly for too long. I call what they have been doing, nothing but greed on the part of some individuals. That is again Mr. Chairman what I call pitiful when you compare it to what the overall economic condition our county is in at present.


The county should stick to their guns and make the system show where the money really is going and how it has been spent/misspent. The people of Burke County deserve the truth and so far they haven’t gotten it from the system or this board and that too is pitiful.


The people have the right to know what is going on in this system. I am tired of paying for filet mignon and getting nothing but boloney.  I have been trying to tell the people this for quite some time. I would be the greatest fiction writer of all time if I were making this all up.


Rob Hairfield














From: Armour, Buddy [mailto:BArmour@drexelheritage.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 11:05 AM
To: Dave@burketruth.com
Subject: RE: Memorial Day


Dear David,

The current recommendation for revision has May 29, 2006 now listed as a vacation day subject to approval by the BOE. 

Buddy Armour










From: Dave Tubergen [mailto:tubergen@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2005 6:00 PM
To: 'Armour, Buddy'
Subject: RE: Memorial Day


Mr. Armour,


            I am a person who plans for contingencies.  If the superintendent recommended the day as a day of work you would have supported his recommendation, as in the best interest of the children.  In my book that position is a very potential “NO” vote.  If you tell me that you are going to vote for Memorial Day off for the Students and Teachers, then I would change my opinion immediately, but I still say there is no room for compromise on this issue. 


Tomorrow I will be meeting with the DAV and I will pass on to them what positions have been put forth, letting them decide for themselves.  What action they may want to take is theirs to decide, maybe nothing, maybe a phone call, maybe more?  I believe you have seen how sensitive this issue is to those who have seen the sacrifices made by those who we served with side by side; it touches home when that day is compromised. 


I did notice that you did not say that the recommended calendar revision scheduled the day as off or not. 




Dave Tubergen

From: Armour, Buddy [mailto:BArmour@drexelheritage.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2005 5:13 PM
To: webmaster@burketruth.com
Subject: Memorial Day


Dear Mr. Tubergen,

            I noticed that you had categorized my position as a “no” vote for having Memorial Day off for teachers and students.    If I recall, I told you that I would wait for a proposal from our superintendent regarding the rescheduling of state-mandated testing.  Mr. Burleson has submitted to the Board a recommended calendar revision, and his proposal looks to me like it will work for staff and kids and satisfy the testing dilemma. 

I can and will support this revision. 


Buddy Armour 





Third Vote for a Memorial Day Holiday

Spoke with Mr. Buff on the telephone and he assured me he would vote to have Students and Teachers off on Memorial Day






Second Vote for a Memorial Day Holiday




-----Original Message-----
From: Wilkinson, Sam [mailto:swilkinson@burke.k12.nc.us]
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 4:10 PM
To: Dave Tubergen
Subject: RE: Memorial Day











Second Vote AGAINST a Memorial Day Holiday





-----Original Message-----
From: Simmons, Bill [mailto:bsimmons@burke.k12.nc.us]
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 9:29 PM
To: Dave Tubergen
Subject: RE: Memorial Day


hello dave,

i am not up for election this next year, but i can assure you this issue will be addressed during our next review of the calendar.  i have always supported, and will continue to honor those who sacrificed for my freedom's, so you need not question my patriotism.  i will support making changes to our current calendar as long as it doesn't reduce the educational opportunities of the students.  i fell confident the superintendent will make the necessary accommodations.

thank you,





From: Dave Tubergen [mailto:tubergen@bellsouth.net]

Sent: Tue 6/7/2005 3:10 PM

To: Armour, Buddy

Subject: Memorial Day




I fully support the students of the Burke County School System having Memorial Day as a holiday for every school year, from this day forward, least they forget.  There is no compromise when it comes to honoring the American patriot, both on Memorial day and Veterans day.  Please write me and let me know what your position will be next month when you take your vote.  I want to know who I will support come next election.




Dave Tubergen


http://www.Burketruth.com <http://www.burketruth.com/












First Vote AGAINST a Memorial Day Holiday




From: Armour, Buddy [mailto:BArmour@drexelheritage.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 10:31 AM
To: Dave Tubergen
Subject: RE: Memorial Day


Dear Mr. Tubergen,

            I certainly support the premise that students should not forget the sacrifices that occurred in our nation’s battles on their and our behalf.  But like most holidays, they are usually regarded by students and parents as an opportunity to play or be on vacation rather than a day to reflect and honor our war dead.  Since our board meeting Monday night, other veterans have suggested to me a mandatory segment of the school day dedicated to honoring those who never got the chance to become veterans be set aside for guest speakers to come and remind kids of what Memorial Day is all about.  If activity buses were available, bring some of the older students to the courthouse celebration.  They felt that such events would be more fruitful and more honoring than them having a day off.  Many folks have sent me suggestions for and against having school on that day.  At this time, I have not decided whether I will vote to amend our 2005-2006 calendar.

            Our superintendent is meeting with his principals today to gather input regarding the impact of not having school on Memorial Day.  I am charged to put the needs of children first.  You say there is no compromise, but I say anytime the education of children is at stake, discussion – at the very least - must occur.  I believe you have taught folks at WPCC, so you know that.

            In your June 7th website blog, you asked, “What has happened to the patriotism of the leaders of Burke County? and you said that ” …all good Americans should respect the men and women who died for their country.”  Am I unpatriotic because I and many, many other adults must work on that day?  Do I not respect the war dead because I think children should be properly supervised and taught about the ultimate sacrifice of our military? 

            I will await a proposal from our educators.  I will examine that proposal, and I will do what I think is best for children.  That is what I was elected to do.

Buddy Armour



-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Tubergen [mailto:tubergen@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 3:10 PM
To: barmour@burke.k12.nc.us
Subject: Memorial Day


I fully support the students of the Burke County School System having Memorial Day as a holiday for every school year, from this day forward, least they forget.  There is no compromise when it comes to honoring the American patriot, both on Memorial day and Veterans day.  Please write me and let me know what your position will be next month when you take your vote.  I want to know who I will support come next election.


Dave Tubergen










First Vote For a Memorial Day Holiday







Mr. Tubergen;


Thank you very much for taking the time to express your thoughts and concerns.


I too feel very strongly that Memorial Day should be a celebrated and recognized holiday for all students and staff.  My entire business is centered around serving veteran's and their families and our company is owned and operated by veterans.  We honor this day by giving our employees a holiday with pay and ask that they reflect on the lives and sacrifices of those that served their country so that we may enjoy the freedom we have today.  It is also a day that we reflect on the lives of those who are no longer with us, even though they may not have been veterans, who were our family and our friends who have left their influences and their love on our lives.


I firmly support Memorial Day being a celebrated holiday for all students and staff and will vote to change the school calendar to do that.


Ray Martinat



From: "Dave Tubergen" <tubergen@bellsouth.net>

Date: 2005/06/07 Tue PM 03:10:02 EDT

To: <barmour@burke.k12.nc.us>

Subject: Memorial Day


I fully support the students of the Burke County School System having Memorial Day as a holiday for every school year, from this day forward, least they forget.  There is no compromise when it comes to honoring the American patriot, both on Memorial day and Veterans day.  Please write me and let me know what your position will be next month when you take your vote.  I want to know who I will support come next election.




Dave Tubergen


http://www.Burketruth.com <http://www.burketruth.com/













From: robert calloway [mailto:bobthebald@charter.net]
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2005 10:03 AM
To: Friends
Subject: thanks


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

I just want to say thank you for receiving my prayer request whether its for some one in my church or family or neighborhood or from missionaries like Jeff and Judy Hughes in Peru.  May God continue to bless you.


Your Brother in Christ   

Ted Calloway











-----Original Message-----
From: Fred McLendon [mailto:mclendonauctions@msn.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 2:37 AM
To: friends
Subject: FW: Bush Plan Could 'Sunset' Any Federal Agency




>From: "BushGreenwatch" <info@bushgreenwatch.org>

>Reply-To: notice-reply-6eu35e4q5j855n@ga3.org

>To: "Fred McLendon" <fred@mclendonauctions.com>

>Subject: Bush Plan Could 'Sunset' Any Federal Agency

>Date: Tue, 03 May 2005 13:23:40 GMT



>Tracking the Bush Administration's Environmental Misdeeds



>May 3, 2005


>Tucked away in the 2,000-page budget plan passed last week by

>both houses of Congress are three short sentences that could

>eliminate every federal program that protects public health, the

>environment, investors, worker's rights and many more.

>As described by journalist Osha Gray Davidson in the April 21st

>Rolling Stone, a proposed "Sunset Commission" could enable the

>president to eliminate any agency he dislikes -- leaving the

>American people at the mercy of big business.

>The driving force behind the Sunset Commission is President

>Bush's four-year Yale roommate and close friend, Clay Johnson.

>As governor of Texas, Bush put Johnson in charge of all state

>appointments. With this authority, Johnson promptly removed all

>three members of the state environmental protection commission

>and replaced them with a former Monsanto executive, an official

>with the Texas Beef Council and a lawyer for the oil industry.

>Now, as deputy director for management at the Office of

>Management and Budget, Johnson has implemented a system to

>evaluate federal programs and cut funding to those "not getting


>This year's budget however, gets rid of 20% of the programs

>actually rated most effective (involving environment and

>education) -- and increases funding for programs rated lowest

>(such as an effort to reduce the number of poor people claiming

>a low-income tax credit).

>With the votes of just five of its eight members, the Sunset

>Commission could enable the president to eliminate entire

>programs that protect citizens from injury and death, such as

>the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National

>Traffic Safety Administration, and the Environmental Protection


>The origins of the Sunset Commission idea go back to Wendy

>Gramm, the wife of former Texas Senator Phil Gramm. As a senior

>official in the Reagan administration, Gramm teamed with

>executives of the Enron corporation to enact a measure exempting

>from regulation companies that trade in energy derivatives.

>Gramm then resigned her post and accepted a seat on the Enron

>board of directors, where she was paid $1.85 million. How much

>Enron enjoyed Gramm's legacy is now history.

>While the White House appears understandably confident about

>gaining Congressional approval for its Sunset Commission, at

>least one member is sounding the alarm.

>"Under the administration's proposal, Congress would relinquish

>its constitutional power to legislate," said Rep. Henry Waxman

>(D-CA). "Power would be consolidated in the executive branch and

>the legislative role would be emasculated."


>This story is drawn from an article by Osha Gray Davidson in the

>April 21st edition of the Rolling Stone:










>1320 18th Street NW 5th Floor

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>(202) 463-6670

>Web site comments: info@bushgreenwatch.org

>Copyright (c) 2003 Environmental Media Services


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The following comment was made in response to the local Morganton News Herald newspaper.  Notice it was sent to the paper, think you will see it in the paper?


From: Fred McLendon [mailto:mclendonauctions@msn.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2005 4:27 AM
To: pconover@morganton.com
Cc: dave@burketruth.com
Subject: a couple of headlines


Hiker makes grizzly discovery at park-grizzly is a bear-grisly; inspiring repugnance; gruesome.


Biker's duel purpose-duel; a formal prearranged combat between 2 persons-dual; composed of two parts; double; twofold.


Mercy folks; these are common 7th grade words & meanings. Mr. Tubergen may be able & willing to teach you about the spell checker available on most computers & typesetters.


PS:  if not spell checker, definitely the thesaurus