Editorial: Wireless would be nice touch

Feb. 22, 2013 @ 05:45 PM

We’re respectful of all that has gone into the decisions to replace utility poles in downtown Henderson, which are estimated to be 80 years old.

However, we’re also disappointed the new plan won’t include a vast reduction in poles and wires.

Placing utilities underground has been a common theme for a number of communities in downtown resurgences. Granted, it is not always possible logistically, and there is a tremendous cost if it is feasible.

The chances to change such a major part of the downtown landscape doesn’t happen often. And, that one change isn’t the difference-maker when it comes to revitalizing downtowns here or anywhere else.

But it is a look we would welcome.

• Our local economy has taken another body blow to begin the year.

First came the change in our paychecks. The Social Security Payroll Tax Holiday ended with the beginning of the new year, and subsequently the working class has a little less change in their pockets. To the good, the government saved about $100 billion.

Then came the rise in gas prices. Not only did it affect what we put into our vehicles, it also affected what delivery folks put into their trucks bringing products to our area. The ripple has been strong and noticeable.

The price of gas did tick down a nickel, on average, in our area late in the week. But at three and three quarters, it’s still up dramatically since the Christmas holidays.

• Senate Bill 89 needs to fail, and fail miserably. But given the powerful lawmakers on board, that may be a reach.
Attorney General Roy Cooper has already issued a statement against “the same old rip-off we ran out of our state years ago.” The bill would allow “deferred presentment transactions” up to $500, allowing the lender to charge up to 15 percent interest.

It is a high-interest loan on a post-dated check. And in our view, an invitation to draw the fiscally weak into a cycle of debt from which it is difficult to recover.

The Senate majority whip, Senate deputy minority leader and the Senate Rules Committee chair are all on board. We hope smarter thinking prevails.