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Originally published: 2012-12-14 10:15:06
Last modified: 2012-12-14 10:15:06

Our View: Drought exists but goodwill overflowing

Thumbs-up: 100 million thumbs that is, in marking the 100 millionth shoebox distributed by Operation Christmas Child. The thought of that number of shoebox gifts is one thing, but the thought of the reach of this Boone-based organization in aiding the world’s most needy children is even more amazing. From its beginnings with a simple phone call to a now worldwide appeal, OCC continues its mission as the world’s “largest Christmas project.”

Thumbs-down: to a too-fast approaching session of retirement for more than one-third of Watauga County teachers. By 2017, about 35 percent of our county teachers will be in a position to retire, and with them the retirement of the combined hundreds of years of experience that has so well-positioned our school system. Yet, being eligible for retirement doesn’t mean that all teachers will seize the opportunity, and as Superintendent David Kafitz rightly notes, this shift presents opportunities for engaging new talent and a new pool of recruits to take us into the future of local education.

Thumbs-up: to the work our local food pantries and other nonprofit groups are conducting during this holiday season. The need for our pantries is always prevalent, but that is even more the situation during the holidays. A harsh economy and the holiday season make for a challenging time of year, but from those preparing and offering meals to the homeless, to those ringing bells in the cold, the holidays are brightened more than a bit for many of Watauga County’s most needy families.

Thumbs-down: to drought conditions — even moderate drought as is the situation in Watauga County — across much of the state. Lack of adequate rainfall has made for some beautiful fall days, but it also has brought a lower than needed supply of water to 81 North Carolina counties. While winter is historically the time that our state replenishes its water supply, it’s good stewardship to conserve where possible now. For tips on how to save water, visit