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Originally published: 2014-03-07 11:30:25
Last modified: 2014-03-07 11:31:10

Our View: Winter drains ARC

Thumbs-up: to nearly a dozen years of sound leadership at Hospitality House. As Executive Director Lynne Mason prepares to retire from the helm, she does so knowing that not only was she instrumental in building the foundation for this community safety net for those in need, but that her leadership guided what began as a small nonprofit mission to an 18,500-square-foot facility covering emergency, transitional, family and permanent housing programs. Mason's retirement caps a 31-year career in social work.

Thumbs-down: to winter storms, even into early March, that threaten to derail the mission of the American Red Cross. Winter weather concerns have forced the cancelation of blood drives across the state, resulting in thousands of uncollected blood and platelet donations. The ARC is in severe need today. Visit to search for blood donation opportunities.

Thumbs-up: to hopes for a fair and honest campaign season. Dozens of Watauga County hopefuls have tossed a hat into the local political ring, and the race is on. Some races, such as the election battle between three Republicans to replace retiring District Attorney Jerry Will, will be decided by the May 6 primary, and voting law changes in 2013 mean that same-day voter registration during early voting is not an option. The voter registration deadline is 5 p.m. April 17. Mail-out absentee voting for the primary election begins in 10 days, March 17.