Thumbs up, thumbs down

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thumbs down to the new resolution in Cabarrus County requiring all county business to be conducted in English as a way to encourage non-English speakers to learn the language. Commissioners voted on the resolution Monday night, and only Commissioner Jay White recognized it for what it is — a total waste of time.

Thumbs up to last week’s visit from Benjamin Navarette, a public safety officer and former police chief in Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico. When leaders from Rowan, Cabarrus and Union counties visited Mexico in the fall through the Latino Initiative, their paths crossed with Navarette’s, and a relationship formed. So they invited Navarette to visit law enforcement agencies here and share his insights into Latino culture. While politicians debate border controls and “official languages,” police and deputies have to figure out how to deal with the Latino population now. Any help they can get is good; help from the other side of the border is even better.

Thumbs up to Lane Street Church of God, which has agreed to provide a home for the Seniors LunchPlus program that moved out of the Kannapolis Y several months ago. Kannapolis seniors have had to go to Concord to take advantage of the program’s nutritious lunch and its programs and activities. Now they won’t have to travel so far, starting this week. That’s great news.

Thumbs down to the struggle to make ends meet, especially for senior citizens wh o have to take on credit card debt to pay for medicine, make home repairs and take care of other essentials. According to USA Today, the percentage of households 55 and over with overall debt grew faster than the rate of the overall population from 1992 to 2004. Average credit card debt in the 65 and older crowd is close to $5,000. Beware of credit card companies offering high debt limits.