Letters to the editor — Monday (12-30-2013)

  • Posted: Monday, December 30, 2013 12:28 a.m.

Rising poverty rate a community problem

This is in reference to Emily Ford’s article in the Dec. 19 Post, re: Salisbury listed as No. 5 with soaring poverty.

First let me comment that Salisbury’s poverty rate isn’t soaring; it soared long ago and gradually continues to climb. This is not the first article on poverty. There have been several different studies by different people that show statistics on the number of children living in poverty in Salisbury.

In 2008 Dr. Suzanne More visited Salisbury and spoke to several groups; she sounded a strong warning about low reading and math scores among students in Salisbury elementary schools. She said that Salisbury has a high poverty level and a high property crime index. On a scale of 1-10, with the national average being 3 for crime on property, Salisbury is a 7.

There have been many articles on the subject in the Salisbury Post. Just a few:

“Salisbury fine in arts, health care; students’ scores a trouble spot” by Mark Wineka (Dec. 1, 2009).

“Council looks for ways to tackle poverty, plan for future” by Mark Wineka (also published Dec. 1, 2009).

Sarah Campbell wrote a great and factual article: Statistics show that 61 percent of students receive free lunches. Knox has approximately 80 percent of students living in poverty while Koontz has 89 percent of students living in poverty.

Elizabeth Cook’s recent article brings out many good points. “Rowan County is the only county in the Piedmont Crescent that lost population since the 2010 census. Meanwhile, poverty grows. One U.S. department of Agriculture report puts Rowan’s 2011 poverty rate at 18.9 percent with nearly 30 percent of our children living in poverty.”

Bottom line is that it doesn’t matter whether Salisbury is 5th in the nation or 50th in the nation. Salisbury has a problem. A high crime index means taxpayers will spend more and more for law enforcement. The problem needs to be seriously addressed. Our current educational system and high rate of poverty is leaving too many kids behind. Better education and better jobs are the key solution.

— Rodney Queen


Habitats under attack

I love this time of year. Cold, crisp days remind me of the days I spent with my dad and our beagles chasing rabbits. Now it means it’s time to share a blind with a wet retriever or float a river when no one else is on it to see if any wood ducks are still here or if mallards have come down from up North.

Now, my 40-year-old son hunts and fishes with me. I love the time I get to spend with my son afield. We hunt and fish on the public lands and public waters that we are blessed to own with other Americans. Unfortunately, these resources and all wildlife habitats are under attack. In recent years our duck hunting has suffered because ducks are just not coming down from the North like they formerly did. We are finding trout streams that are warming to a point that cold water fish can’t survive. We have witnessed damage from salt water incursion in national wildlife refuges that kills fresh water marshes as sea levels rise. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) just completed four reports on the impact of a warming world on wildlife habitats:

n Swimming Upstream: Freshwater Fish in a Warming World

n Shifting Skies: Migratory Birds in a Warming World

n Nowhere to Run: Big Game in a Warming World

n Wildlife in a Warming World

You can find all four reports at the NWF website (http://www.nwf.org/ Sportsmen/Climate-Change.aspx).

Whether you are a hunter, fisherman, birder or simply enjoy kicking around outdoors, I believe you will find these reports compelling.

— G. Richard Mode


Mode serves on the board of the N.C. Wildlife Federation and is the National Wildlife Federation’s sportsman outreach coordinator in the state.

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