Letters to the editor - Thursday (6-13-2013)

  • Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013 12:33 a.m.

Does Salisbury/Rowan really need retail recruiter?

A retail recruiter was a bad idea from day one. I am not talking about Laura Jollay. I am sure she is a very smart and capable individual. I am talking about our mayor’s idea that we needed a retail recruiter in the first place. This is a colossal waste of money.

Retailers have ample demographic data on our community and very scientific formulas that can identify unmet needs in a community. Based on our local demographics, they know how many square feet of retail space Salisbury/Rowan can support in every retail and service category. They know how much retail leakage we have and what opportunities that leakage presents. They do not need a retail recruiter to encourage them. We have commercial Realtors that chase retailers.

If we really want to encourage retail growth, we need to increase average household income. That means well-paying jobs and a well-educated workforce. More disposable income will in turn support more retail spending. Bringing in more retailers or displacing an existing retailer with another one or moving retail sales from one part of town to another is meaningless if it does not result in a net gain of jobs and retail sales at the end of the day.

If we are looking for an easy way to increase retail sales, we could educate government leaders, locally owned businesses and individuals in the cost of retail leakage (out shopping) and online shopping. We could develop an ongoing campaign that would help leaders and locals connect the dots between buying local and the creation of jobs and increase in retail sales, particularly when we buy from a locally owned business.

If we were serious about increasing retail sales, we would identify those items that people go elsewhere to buy and present them to existing business as opportunities for expanding existing business.

— Michael S. Young


Caring for those in need

Why do people complain about individuals and families who receive welfare benefits (food stamps, etc.)? Evidently, these people don’t realize why there are so many recipients or understand that most of them really do need this help.

True, there are some people who shouldn’t be receiving benefits because they take advantage of the system. That’s not the point I’m trying to make here.

Job layoffs are the main reason for the increase in welfare recipients. Part of the problem began with the sewing factories, cotton mills and other businesses shutting down. But this still isn’t the point I’m getting out.

My point is: God doesn’t close his eyes to the plight of the poor. When he gave guidelines to his people for living, he also included instructions for caring for the needy (Deuteronomy 15:11). Also, verses 7-8: “You shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand, from your poor brother, (but) open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need.”

God commanded his people not to glean the corners of their fields so the less fortunate could gather food.

In regard to these complainers about welfare recipients, I wonder how they would feel if suddenly they found themselves unemployed, without money, home or food.

God has a heart for the poor. Do we?

— Ellie Mae Lambert


Pit bulls roam neighborhood

I have lived in the community of Fairview Heights for almost 57 years. I say that with great pride. Now, here comes the “but.” About five years ago, a family moved in, with many pit bull dogs. For the first time in 57 years, I wish I could pick up the house and move.

I have nothing against the people. It’s their lack of respect for the laws of the land. We have a leash law in this city. When dogs roam free, the law is being ignored. We’ve called Animal Control time after time, and nothing is done. And I’m not the only one calling. Must I wait until I — a woman in a wheelchair — or one of my three grandchildren is bitten before the law will be enforced? Heaven forbid.

One June 6, my son and his 2-year-old daughter were at my house. She spilled her drink on my just-mopped floor. My son opened my back door to retrieve my mop. The biggest pit bull was at the end of my ramp, and he began to charge at my son. I shudder to think what would have happened if it had been me opening that door.

I have given up the cookouts I used to love, midweek Bible study, choir rehearsals and other activities because of these dogs. I feel like a prisoner in my own home.

Can someone help me understand why in some neighborhoods the laws are enforced and in others they aren’t?

— Diane S. Robinson


Moral Monday & the Tea Party

In a very biting column on the opinion page of June 12, the Post described comments made by Sen. Thom Goolsby (R) regarding the recent Moral Monday protests as “a feeble attempt to satirize the Moral Monday demonstrations at the state Capitol.” Apparently, the Post is very concerned that Senator Goolsby and Gov. Pat McCrory “revealed no such disdain for the Tea Party activism that was boiling up around the nation and state not that long ago.” The column ends by suggesting that “Goolsby and his colleagues should view them (Moral Monday protesters) as what they are — a growing group of very concerned citizens”.

Could someone please explain to me why the Post, in it’s darts and laurels column, chose to give the Tea Party a dart when it emerged a few years back? Personally, I felt that the Tea Party was also a growing group of very concerned citizens. Why has the Tea Party been demonized while the Moral Monday protesters are being glorified? Why is one group considered evil and the other righteous?

I realize that many politicians on both sides of the aisle have their biases and agendas. However, isn’t it the job of the press to be unbiased and to let the people make their own decisions and come to their own conclusions?

Remember, “The truth shall make you free.”

— Elizabeth Landry


An explosive lesson

While I was attending Eastern High School in Detroit, our literature class was required to write a short essay about the Southern generals in the Civil War. I had a keen interest in Gen. Robert E. Lee, who upon the South’s surrender in 1865 accepted an offer to become president of Washington College.

Lexington was a small college town in southwest Virginia, really a frontier town, and Lee was a resident of the aristocratic section of Virginia that is today Washington, D.C.

Washington College was a wreck after the war. There were only 63 students, but it was a school endowed by George Washington. So I wrote of an incident that occurred in the winter of 1866.

It was a very cold winter, and some students noticed that someone was taking firewood from their pile. In order to expose the culprit, one of the students hollowed out a log and put gunpowder in it. The next morning, there was a huge explosion and fire in the room of Dr. Edwarad Joynes, the professor of languages. It created quite a commotion!

That morning before services in the chapel, General Lee reminded the students that there were no rules for student government, but he presumed that all students were gentlemen, and by that fact, the control of the students was left to the students and their individual sense of honor. Lee wanted anyone who knew information about the incident to come to his office that morning.

The two guilty students went to General Lee’s office and told him about the missing wood and their gunpowder plan to discover the thief. Of course, they felt bad about the fire and did not realize it was Professor Joynes.

Lee responded that their plan to find out who was stealing wood was a good one, but “next time use less powder.”

— Victor S. Farrah


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