Up & Coming Weekly

August 15, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 4 of 32

4 UCW AUGUST 16 - 22, 2017 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM PUBLISHER'S PEN STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/EDITOR Stephanie Crider editor@upandcomingweekly.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Leslie Pyo leslie@upandcomingweekly.com SENIOR REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR Earl Vaughan Jr. GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Long art@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS D.G. Martin, Pitt Dickey, Margaret Dickson, John Hood, Erinn Crider, Jim Jones, Shanessa Fenner, Paul Hall SALES ADMINISTRATOR/ DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com ACCOUNTING Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com MARKETING/SALES Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com ––––––––––– Up & Coming Weekly www.upandcomingweekly.com 208 Rowan Street P.O. Box 53461 Fayetteville, NC 28305 PHONE: (910) 484-6200 FAX: (910) 484-9218 Up & Coming Weekly is a "Quality of Life" publication with local features, news and infor- mation on what's happening in and around the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community. Up & Coming Weekly is published weekly on Wednesdays. Up & Coming Weekly welcomes manuscripts, photographs and artwork for publi- cation consideration, but assumes no responsibil- ity for them. We cannot accept responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or material. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject copy submitted for publication. Up & Coming Weekly is free of charge and distributed at indoor and outdoor locations throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base, Hope Mills and Spring Lake. Readers are limited to one copy per person. ©2007 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Cover art designed with various elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. Photo for front courtesy of Alzheimer's Association - Southeast Tennessee America: Where Are Our Priorities? by BILL BOWMAN Oh, America. What are we doing? e news coming out of Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend was heartbreaking. One dead and 19 injured. Fistfights. Screaming matches. Hatred. Vio- lence. Why? is past May, the Charlottesville City Council voted to sell a statue of Robert E. Lee. A judge issued an injunction preventing the city from moving it for six months. In another vote, the city also chose to rename Lee and Jackson parks. People showed up to protest while others showed up to protest the protests. It was not a peaceable assembly. Not even close. Lesson learned: Trying to adapt American history to align with 21st-century political correctness will always be an irresponsible and explosive undertaking with catastroph- ic consequences. ere is no outrunning our past, and with all the critical issues fac- ing our nation, this is what we keep coming back to? Apparently, moving forward is not something we've figured out, either. ere is so much work to do, so many issues to be resolved and so many ways we could come together as a nation to move our country forward in a positive way. In an American way. According to pewresearch.org, the most recent (2015) Program for International Student Assessment, one of the largest cross-national tests, placed the U.S. at 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. e Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development placed us 30th in math and 19th in science. America used to lead the world academi- cally. In a competitive worldwide job mar- ket, this does not bode well for the future of our youth as they enter the workforce. At the end of fiscal year 2017, our nation's debt is estimated to be $20.4 trillion. at is the how much the U.S. will owe its creditors on Sept. 30. is number doesn't include state or local debt. Individu- ally, we aren't much better. Check out these statistics based on data from the U.S. Census bureau and the Federal Reserve: • Average Ameri- can household debt: $5,700. Average for balance-carrying households: $16,048. • Total outstanding U.S. consumer debt: $3.4 trillion. Total revolving debt: $929 billion. • More than 38 percent of all households carry some sort of credit card debt. • Households with the lowest net worth (zero or negative) hold an average of $10,308 in credit card debt. • e Northeast and west coast hold the highest average credit card debt — both averaging over $8,000. Add to these statistics the fact that Ameri- cans owe more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt (across 44 million borrowers), and our financial outlook is grim. en there is health care. Why, as one of the richest and most technologically advanced countries in the world, are we still trying to figure out how to provide high-quality, affordable health care to all our citizens? Add to this list food deserts (areas where it is difficult to buy affordable, fresh, healthy food), which the USDA says "have become a big problem because while food deserts are often short on whole food provid- ers, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, in- stead, they are heavy on local quickie marts that provide a wealth of processed, sugar- and fat-laden foods that are known contribu- tors to our nation's obesity epidemic." Add America's opioid epidemic and the affected families. Add the immigration crisis we face. And all this is within our borders. Put all these things together and the sheer total number of our country's misplaced priorities will have your head spinning. Our leaders in Washington aren't help- ing. Case in point: Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky. Recently, McConnell and President Donald Trump clashed over critical remarks McCo- nnel made at a local Rotary Club concern- ing the ill-fated health care bill. McConnell said the president had "excessive expecta- tions" on how things are accomplished in Washington, D.C. In other words, career politicians like McConnell, who has been in Congress since 1984, have lost all sense of urgency, priority and loyalty to the president, their party and the American people. All they care about is looking out for themselves, and McConnell is typi- cal of the self-serving bureaucrats that make up Congress on both sides of the aisle. Until the American people say, "enough is enough," we can only expect more of the same. You don't have to be of any specific political persuasion to want America to be great again. It is great. We need to keep it that way. ank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly. BILL BOWMAN, Publisher, UP & COMING WEEKLY. COMMENTS? BILL@upandcomingweekly.com. (910) 391-3859. Trying to adapt American history to align with 21st-century political correctness will always be an irresponsible and explosive undertaking. Career politicians like McConnell have lost all sense of urgency, priority and loyalty to the American people. HIGH 95 LOW 76 HIGH 94 HIGH 91 HIGH 92 HIGH 88 HIGH 89 LOW 76 LOW 74 LOW 73 LOW 72 LOW 71 AUGUST 17 AUGUST 18 AUGUST 19 AUGUST 20 AUGUST 21 AUGUST 22 Thunderstorms Thunderstorms Thunderstorms Thunderstorms Thunderstorms Thunderstorms

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