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Commissioner dunking booths, other pressing issues 

Welcome to the long-awaited new edition of "Ask Boomer With Attitude." As always, we're live from Charlotte, N.C., where the critical role of education is being sacrificed for the anti-tax vote. One of the following questions is fake; see if you can spot it.

Dear BWA: I agree with you that the county needs to find the revenue to keep our schools and libraries going strong. Is there any chance they will really raise taxes? -- Shannon Finister

Dear Shannon: I doubt it, since Commission Chair Jennifer Roberts made it clear that a property tax increase is off the table. I disagree with that decision, but then I don't have to run for re-election. Here's another proposal that I believe would be enormously popular, and could come close to raising the required money: County Commissioner Dunking Booths. Set up dunking booths outside each library branch and each CMS school (private schools would be welcome to participate, too, if they wish), devise a rotating schedule for the commissioners to participate at the various locations, and charge people 10 bucks a throw. Locations without a live commissioner taking part may substitute tasteful effigies. I can't imagine it would take more than a month or two to collect enough money to keep the schools and libraries rolling along at their usual pace.

Dear BWA: Why don't you write about the policeman who was given a suspended sentence for causing a young woman's death?

-- Horrified

Dear Numbers: I did, in a news blog item (at www.theclogblog.com). The sentence given to former officer Martray Proctor seems unbelievable, given that he had a prior record of speeding, and was driving over 100 mph without lights or siren and then plowed into 20-year-old Shatona Robinson's Ford Escort, killing her instantly. Sadly, though, the sentence is all too believable. Charlotte police who kill are never given serious jail time -- whether they slam into somebody while driving way too fast, get trigger-happy and kill a cell phone tower worker for no reason, or Taser a kid in a grocery store, it's all good, according to the DA's office. Proctor pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and told Judge Timothy Patti that he wanted to study to become a minister. After the "sentencing," the judge wished Proctor success with his studies. The word is that Proctor was devastated by Robinson's death and is trying to turn things around and be an asset to blahblahblahblah. All of which does Shatona Robinson and her family zero good. Who knew that all you had to do to get away with recklessly causing someone else's death is simply say you're sorry? (Editor's Note: For more on Proctor's sentencing, check out this week's The N Word column.)

Dear BWA: Everybody is complaining about the law in Arizona to get rid of illegal immigrants, but I think that's exactly what we need in North Carolina. -- Legals Only

Dear Legals: First of all, we'll forgive you for not posing your question in the form of a question. Next, we'll tell you that both Ron Woodard, director of the anti-illegal immigration group North Carolina Listen, and William Gheen, head of Americans for Legal Immigration, told NBC17 in Raleigh that a bill similar to Arizona's controversial "Hey Brown People, Show Us Your Papers!" law will be filed in the N.C. State Assembly. Neither man believes such a bill can pass, however, as long as those commie Democrats are in the majority in the legislature. BWA doubts that anyone will propose a similar bill here until the dust has settled from the multiple legal challenges to the Arizona law.

Dear BWA: How can you continue to support the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"? Don't you know that soldiers need group solidarity? That would be destroyed by bringing gays into the military. -- Bill Ossian

Dear Bill: First of all, there are already thousands and thousands of gays and lesbians in the U.S. military. The only difference after repeal would be that those gays and lesbians could serve their country without having to look over their shoulders all the time, and worry that they'll be kicked out of the military. Secondly, a new poll commissioned by the Vet Voice Foundation, and conducted by both Republican and Democratic pollsters, confirms what we've said all along: It's a new generation in today's military, and they are much less concerned about homosexuality than the traditional image of macho Marines would lead you to think. Here are some results of the poll: 60 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans believe that being gay or lesbian "has no bearing on a service member's ability to perform their duties"; 73 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans say it is "personally acceptable to them if gay and lesbian people were allowed to serve openly in the military"; and 73 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans say "they are personally comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians." By the way, the survey sampled 45 percent self-identified Republicans and just 20 percent Democrats, so, to cut to the chase, it's high time conservative throwbacks finally realize something: Their pitched anti-gay battle has been lost.

Please send questions, queries and love offerings to john.grooms@creativeloafing.com. If you would like to use a nickname, please let us know.

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