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Letters to the editor: June 2017
Friday, 02 June 2017 10:46

Happy birthday (May 14) to the great Frank Sinatra

As is my custom, at this time I take a few moments to honor the memory of singer/actor/director/entertainer Frank Sinatra who passed away 19 years ago on May 14, 1998.

His talents in the aforementioned categories cannot be denied and I hope that people around the globe will join me and the likes of singers Peggy King and the Philly based All Star Jazz Trio, Harry Prime, Tony Bennett, Jane Powell, Michael Buble, music director/musician George Roumanis, WYYR program director Chris Valenti, Global Productions musician/talent promoter Billy Jon Coogan, music archivist Anthony DiFlorio III, DJs Jonathan Schwartz, Ronnie Allen and Sinatra maven/author Will Friedwald. 

May his legacy of superb choices of songs from the Great American Songbook live on forever. 

There is an untitled Broadway musical production in the works — based on Sinatra’s fabulous career — for 2018. I wish all involved much success. 

Frank Sinatra will always be “A-number one, top of the list” in our hearts. 

His contributions to the entertainment industry virtually demand remembrance.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The lyric fragment quoted in the second to the last paragraph of Stark’s letter is — as any Sinatra fan would know — from Sinatra’s classic, “New York, New York!”


Bold, honest, visionary idealistic leadership needed 

With the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution, this country was founded on a heroic vision of a society of unprecedented optimism and hope.

The greatest two presidents since this country’s founding, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, were able to rally the nation and move it through times of unprecedented danger with eloquence and sincerity.

As we enter what I believe is a critical period of our history, such leaders of stature, courage and vision are nowhere to be found.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are among several progressive leaders who speak clearly and boldly, but I fear without the charismatic clarion quality the times require.

Environmental crisis, international chaos, growing income inequality and technology replacing the human workforce are the realities and challenges facing us, and our government, business and educational institutions are completely inadequate to the task.

Instead, we have a cynical charlatan in the presidency who tapped into this need with hollow calls to “greatness,” but takes our country backward and builds an autocracy rather than strengthening our democracy.

Meanwhile, Republican controlled legislatures at the federal and state levels are intent on enriching the rich and dismantling government as protector of the people and environment, undermining democracy at every opportunity to solidify their own power.  

The realm of commerce is increasingly dominated by international corporate mega-dynasties who look to and concern themselves only with their own profits.

Our educational system has lost its mission to open minds and develop creativity to instead be trade schools for the government and corporate bureaucracies.

The concept of stewardship of our environment and institutions toward a high quality of life for generations to come is non-existent.  Instead of utopia, only dystopia looms ahead of us.

In this country and in Europe, this unease is palpable and results in elections that reject the old order, but fail to bring bold visions for the future, only misguided attempts to recoup past glories based in outdated and failed notions of nationalism and nativism.

Bold, honest, visionary, idealistic leadership is called for.

If the Democrats want to become relevant and regain authority and leadership, it is a vision of honest, creative and compassionate government serving all the people they must vigorously put forward.

We need heroes not bureaucrats. If ever a generation needed Jeffersons, Washingtons, Lincolns and Roosevelts, it is this one.  




Legislature urged to back Governor's School backing 

 I’m distressed to read that the Senate Appropriations Act contains a provision to completely defund the Governor’s School of North Carolina.

 As a student at Enka High School in 1970, I was honored to be nominated and selected to attend Governor’s School in Choral Music at Salem College. That summer was truly a life-changing event for me. To be able to sing choral music that I’d only heard on records by prestigious professional groups, but also to participate in seminars and conversations with students from all across North Carolina was a revelation on how much talent and academic excellence existed and thrived in this great state.

 Attending Governor’s School not only helped me be accepted at UNC-Chapel Hill, but more importantly, that summer was a major factor in my decision to concentrate in arts administration, and has led me to my present position as executive director of the Montford Park Players of Asheville.

 For the sake of future generations of students who are hungry for the knowledge and opportunities they may never receive in their high schools, I urge the House to support full funding of the Governor’s School of North Carolina, so that even more academically gifted and talented students can participate in this wonderful program, which was the first of its kind in the nation, and has been a model for nearly every Governor’s School established since 1963.




What did your protesting and marching accomplish? 

Because President Donald Trump was elected as our next president, thousands of people decided to protest and march with signs and sounds: “We want our rights!” You have your rights.

Some set fire to things, some broke out windows, etc.

But why display such behavior?

Because of hate and anger?

Such actions show the ignorance of some Americans/ It will get them nowhere.

It was God’s plan he (Trump) be elected. No one can stop God!

It is a shame that other countries see the division we hae. What an example — acting like children who didn’t get their way. 

If all those protesters had been praying for our president and leaders, would not that have been better?


2 events show mankind’s lack of belief in God's word 

Two separate events show’s how unbelieving of God’s word, mankind has become.  Both used the-time-figure 165 million years.

The first showed NASA’s gold plated satellite dish that supposedly will go into space and be able to go back some 165 million years into the evolution of the universe.  At least, that’s “Man’s” foolish goal!

 The second was a newspaper announcement of a coming circus event “where you can experience firsthand the giants of today’s world” (elephants) “and enormous creatures from the past” (dinosaurs).

That supposedly takes you back 165 million years to the Mesozoic Era, when they say dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Problem with that Mesozoic Era time period, and others, is that a human being assigned each layer of rock the time they were formed, and completely ignored the Creator who was there and formed it.

God, the Creator, spoke it into being, out of invisible particles, called atoms, and held together by His Word.

According to “The Word of God,” time started only a few thousand years ago.  God declared the first earthly day after He lit up the Sun, creating night and day, because of the earth’s 24-hour rotation.  God invented time.

At that time Earth was uninhabitable, fully covered by water, and THERE WAS NO LIFE!  

On the subsequent five days God caused land to rise, creating dry land, created all forms of vegetation, trees, and other things to sustain life. 

From the dust of the earth He formed all animals and Man and gave them life, including the infamous dinosaurs (probably the behemoth referred to by God in Job 40:15-19).     

God made Dinosaurs and Man on the 6th day of creation.  Now Man questions the existence of God, with “words without knowledge” (Job 38:2).  The truth is in God’s Word, not Man.

Coalgate, Okla.




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