Our View: Ups & Downs: New roads funds formula; Paula Deen

Jun. 28, 2013 @ 01:37 AM

THUMBS UP to the N.C. Legislature for finally taking action we’ve advocated the last several years on the Enterprise’s editorial pages and changing the funding formula for state transportation improvement projects. For decades, all available funding has been allocated equally among the Department of Transportation’s 14 divisions across the state, which resulted in higher population urban areas getting shortchanged. Under the new plan, 40 percent of the money available from federal and state sources will be allocated on a statewide basis with potential projects being ranked on a scoring system. The bulk of remaining funds will be distributed for regional, divisional and local projects. State leaders say the change will allow funding of more projects, which will generate more jobs.

THUMBS DOWN to Paula Deen and revelations of her past exhibitions of racism. What was especially troubling was that her “long time ago” explanation turned out to be not quite that long ago. Also, a THUMBS DOWN goes to the Deen fans confused about Smithfield Foods of Smithfield, Va., dropping Deen as a spokeswoman for the company. Some Deen fans, thinking they were lambasting that huge corporation hurled insults at Smithfield’s Chicken ’N Bar-B-Q, the eastern North Carolina restaurant chain based in Smithfield in Johnston County. Smithfield’s, which has more than 30 outlets and some as far west as Siler City and Mebane, received complaints via its Facebook page and other avenues, so much so that the company had to issue a news release to make the distinction between the two Smithfields.

THUMBS UP to Thomasville native Wil Myers and to Thomasville’s Kylee Russell. It’s been a big couple of weeks for the young folks. Russell, a rising junior at First Assembly Christian School in Thomasville, was named a tie winner of the Outstanding Teen Lifestyle and Fitness Award during the Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen pageant in Raleigh. Russell also won the Talent Award during pageant preliminaries for a lyrical dance she performed to “Home on the Range.”
Myers, the former Wesleyan Christian Academy star and now Tampa Bay Rays rookie, had a big weekend on a huge stage when last Saturday in Yankee Stadium he hit his first Major League Baseball home run, a grand slam off N.Y. Yankee’s ace CC Sabathia. It was the first time in Yankee Stadium in 33 years that a rookie player had hit a grand slam for his first home run. Then on Monday, Myers hit the second home run of his career during a game before the home crowd in Tampa.