Pair of Birdies - And Two Bogeys
Birdie: By Fred Hobbs, president of the Southern Pines civil engineering firm that bears his name, for his decade of dedicated service to our community as chairman of Partners in Progress, Moore County's economic development organization.
Hobbs resigned from that volunteer post earlier this week.
His career as an engineer, state senator and entrepreneur made him uniquely qualified for leading this important community institution. Creating and managing a public/private partnership isn't a job for the faint of heart.
The issues surrounding the growth of the Sandhills economy - either too much or not enough - has become the hottest of hot-button issues. In this era of austerity measures, it must be noted that Hobbs and his able crew allowed the county government to save $200,000 per year for the past decade compared with the years when economic development was a county department.
Hobbs can and should take credit for recruiting both of Partners' stellar executive directors - Ray Ogden and Pat Corso - and for having the good sense to stay out of their way.
Congrats, Fred, on a job well done.
Birdie: By retired Moore County teacher Terry Haney Hardison, who has found a rewarding new career at the Monarch Creative Arts and Community Center in Southern Pines.
She seems to have discovered and developed a special gift for bringing out the artistic creativity in adults with mental illness, developmental disabilities and other problems. The results have obviously been most rewarding for both her and her students, many of whom have become bona fide artists.
Bogey: By lame duck Gov. Beverly Perdue. Last year, she created a judicial nominating committee for the purpose of "taking the politics out of choosing judges." Now she has turned around and bypassed the panel this year - and for reasons that are themselves blatantly political.
There doesn't seem to be any valid reason to doubt the qualifications of Appellate Judge Cheri Beasley, whom Perdue named this week to replace Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson. It was her conveniently timed early resignation that created the vacancy that the outgoing Democratic governor has now rushed to fill.
Nor does this action change the partisan balance on the supposedly nonpartisan court, though it does deny incoming Governor-Elect Pat McCrory a chance to do so. And, as we said last week when the appointment loomed, the same thing might well happen if the shoe were on the other partisan foot.
Still, what a mockery of due process.
Bogey: By all of us adults in North Carolina, who seem to be letting our state's children down in shameful ways.
According to the N.C. Institute of Medicine and Action for Children, more Tar Heel youngsters than ever live in poverty. We also received D grades in two other areas: weight-related health, and alcohol and substance abuse.
North Carolina did get a couple of A's: The number of kids with health insurance has increased, and graduation rates are up. But two steps forward and three back hardly constitute a record to take pride in.
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