Your View: Thanks for the honor of representing you

Dec. 04, 2012 @ 12:31 AM

How do you say something new about a subject that you have discussed 14 times before?  I am referring to the need to thank everyone who once again entrusted me with the high honor and privilege of being their voice in Washington.  The words “thank you” seem inadequate to convey the depth of my gratitude for the trust placed in me on Nov. 6.
This election season was unique in that the Sixth District gained all or parts of eight new counties.  The residents of Caswell, Durham, Granville, Orange, Person, Rockingham, Stokes, and Surry counties didn’t know me and I didn’t know them prior to the new district lines being drawn.  Along with holdovers, Alamance and Guilford, the new Sixth District honored me by electing me to another two-year term as their representative.
I enjoyed spending the past year travelling throughout the 10 counties of the district – meeting new friends and renewing old acquaintances.  I want to thank my opponents in the primary and Tony Foriest in the general election for affording the voters a choice at the ballot box.  Democracy is healthier when many participate in the process.
Now that the political season is concluded (it is over for a while, right?), I pledge to do my best to uphold the confidence shown in me.  We will strive to bring the same level of outstanding constituent services to the new Sixth as we have in the past.
Washington, D.C.
The writer represents the Sixth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Menhaden overfishing claim is incorrect

The piece, “Save the Pogies,” Nov. 18 by Dick Jones, relies exclusively on information from the Menhaden Defenders petition, “Menhaden need a break.” However, Jones and Menhaden Defenders provide inaccurate accounts of the health of the menhaden population, ultimately misleading their respective readers.
Jones is quick to fault Omega Protein for a decline in the menhaden population, writing, “they maintain that menhaden are merely suffering from poor recruitment – their half-billion-pound harvest has nothing to do with it.” Despite this dismissal, poor recruitment is an important factor in lower menhaden biomass. According to the last ASMFC menhaden stock assessment, menhaden are not overfished; in fact, the species is producing 40 percent more eggs than a population that would be considered overfished.
By this measure, the problem with menhaden is not that there are too few menhaden spawning, but that too few menhaden are subsequently being born. Much of the scientific data on the menhaden stock reinforces the claim that reducing fishing mortality is not an effective way to influence the size of the menhaden population. In its 2010 stock assessment, the ASMFC concluded that menhaden population changes “are almost entirely driven by non-fishery sources.”
“They’ve been put through more than 50 years of overfishing,” the article claims, but fails to specifically define this allegation. According to the 2010 Atlantic menhaden stock assessment, in the last 15 years for which data is available, overfishing has only occurred twice, with the last recorded instance of overfishing in 2008, by just 0.4 percent over the threshold determined by the ASMFC. With the ASMFC declaring the 2012 assessment unfit for management advice, there is currently no reliable data for fishing activity in the last four years, making the exact status of the menhaden stock impossible to determine.
Reedville, Va.
The writer is director of public affairs for Omega Protein.



High Point City Council gave tentative approval to a plan to develop a business park north of the city that would obligate $13 million in taxpayer dollars as part of the deal. What do you think of this? In 30 words or less (no name, address required), email us your thoughts to Here is one response:
• The proposed rural industrial park, with High Point taxpayers subsidizing Greensboro developers, is old thinking, the opposite of smart growth.

The “fiscal cliff” is approaching. Some say compromise. Some say jump off. What should Congress and President Obama do to solve this immediate federal budgetary situation? In 30 words or less (no name, address required), email us your thoughts to