The editorial extolled the virtues of Del Burns, the superintendent-elect of the Wake County School System. It cited how the school board didn't have to look far to find a qualified superintendent as Burns had served as deputy superintendent. The note read: “Wake County can promote from within ... but Robeson County can't! I'm sure you'll be glad to explain the difference.”
First of all, Robeson County can. That happened in 1998 - and will probably happen again soon.
But more to the point, we have never said that the local school board cannot promote from within. In fact, Superintendent Colin Armstrong, a guy who should know, has told the board that he has assistant superintendents who are qualified for the job.
What we have argued for is a legitimate process that will lead to the best-qualified candidate. Certainly, being familiar with the local system is worth highlighting on the resume. But, because of this county's politics, a local candidate is more likely to be looked upon with jaundiced eyes as the public understandably wonders what deals have been cut.
Last August, shortly after Armstrong announced he would not seek a contract extension, we predicted one of three names, all local, would emerge from our lockbox - but we also noted all three candidates are qualified.
Does that make one of them the best-qualified? That is what a search is supposed to determine.
There is a reason that the same name keeps rolling off people's lips when they speak of who will be the next schools superintendent. And it isn't because they have read it here. We haven't published the name and - as a matter of fairness - have actually deleted it from letters to the editor.
But the question is a fair one, and we were pleased to answer it.
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Some of the same folks who have said that Iraq is embroiled in a civil war now say that country is on the verge of a civil war. This time, however, they are correct.
Their challenge will be to mask their glee.
The challenge of the Iraqi people is to seize the opportunity that this country - through 2,300 dead soldiers and the suffering of more than 8,000 who have been wounded or maimed - has given them.
Last week, insurgents who are foreign fed blew up several mosques, causing heightened tensions between Sunnis and Shiites. The good news is that in the days that have followed, a government-imposed curfew has kept the fuse from being lit. But how long can that last?
If Iraq settles into a full-scale civil war, then our call is for the troops to stay out of the line of fire. It is past time that the Iraqis demonstrate they are willing to fight for peace and freedom. Or, in this instance, not fight.
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And finally, it's nice when a story has a happy ending. That was the case last week when a 19-year-old woman was kidnapped but escaped because she had armed herself with pepper spray.
More details of Kelly Cassidy's story are on Page 1A today. We have been encouraged that her ordeal has inspired other women to arm themselves with pepper spray.
Now is the time to do that. Don't be caught in a situation wishing you had taken that time.