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Letters: Planting trees in more ways than one

Planting a real tree has
metaphorical value, too
Regarding the Feb. 22 article on Leonard Pitts’ presentation at Catawba College:
I agree with the notion (and the metaphor) to “plant a tree.” As a matter of fact, for my son Gavin’s May 2007 confirmation, in honor of his sponser, Joe Sheets, and to symbolize the appreciation of the encouragement and support to my son, I did just that. I planted a dogwood tree.
I’m looking forward to watching the tree grow over the years to come. It shows not only my appreciation to Joe, but Gavin also has a reference point of when and what it was planted for. I think the most important significance, though, in watching the tree grow is that his commitment made to our lord and savior will, too.
The behind-the-scenes story needs to be noted. When planting this tree, the ground was terribly hard from our drought. Instead of giving up because it was too hard, I asked for help. My neighbor, Steve Simpson, graciously dug the hole for me.
Initially, it was important to take extra care of the tree due to the lack of rain in our area, and if I were being perfectly honest, there have been times when I was either too busy or too tired to make the effort I know was needed.
Fortunately, as far as I can tell, the tree is still alive. And only time will tell whether or not I cared enough from the start. That really has made me stop and think about some things (other than the tree, if you know what I mean).
This one little dogwood tree has made quite a little stir. When I think I’m too busy or I’m too tired for this or that, I can’t help but think about how worried I’ve been about “the tree.” Then lo and behold, I’m not so busy or tired anymore. So as I look at that tree every day, I just wonder…
All this over one little dogwood tree.
ó Michelle Bennett
Salisbury
Annexation defies logic
I view the proposed annexation along N.C. 150 as totally illogical. In a recent issue of this paper, the mayor said “it’s the only way for the city to grow, and it should be the responsibility of people who use the city services ó as do many just outside the city limits ó to pay for them.”
What city services do we use? I have heard city streets and city parks. The last I knew, most of the main routes into the city have state or federal designations and thus are maintained by those governments. As for city maintained streets, aren’t those public domain? Under this logic, the city of Charlotte should be charging all Salisburians for using its streets. As for our using city parks, how does the city know to what extent that we use them, other than by assumption? My personal use is a couple walks a year.
The county estimates it will lose $1.8 million in revenues if this annexation succeeds. In the article that appeared in the Feb. 20 issue of this paper, it was stated that the city will receive $1.14 million but will net only $33,588. And to get that, the city has $570,000 start-up costs! Needless to say, but that is not a good business proposition.
Many of us will be paying in excess of $400 net more in taxes for services we already have! Don’t tell us we also get water and sewer ó those costs are additional and come later.
Yes, the city has the legal right to attempt the annexation, but I believe it also has an overriding moral obligation to not do it.
ó Douglas Yale
Salisbury
A beacon of excellence
It is with great pride that I write to congratulate the administration, staff and students from North Rowan Elementary School in Spencer. Recently, the North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development chose North Rowan Elementary School for excellence and innovation by recognizing it as one of seven schools in North Carolina to receive the 2008 Lighthouse School Award. One hundred applications were submitted. Of two elementary schools honored, North Rowan Elementary was bestowed this award for diligently and creatively meeting the learning needs of students.
North Rowan Elementary met all of its Adequate Yearly Progress goals for the 2006-07 school year. The teachers and students worked together to increase their proficiency levels in reading and math in third-fifth grades and raised their fourth-grade writing proficiency from 20 percent in 2003-04 to 45.9 percent in 2007. In math, the levels increased for all grades on average by at least 19 percent. The End of Grade average increase in reading was 7.3 percent.
Creative learning programs include, but are not limited to, monthly Breakfast Book Clubs for students and parents, quarterly parenting workshops featuring well known speakers and authors and a partnership with Communities In Schools where full-time staff, provided by Communities in Schools, allow parents access to resources before, during and after school.
Mr. Rick Hampton is the principal of this K-5 Title I elementary school. He is assisted by a staff of creative, nurturing and remarkable teachers embracing diversity within the school while fostering a love of learning.
In closing, I would like to personally take the opportunity to thank each and every member of the North Rowan Elementary team for adding so much value to the lives of the students in our area. The 2008 Lighthouse Award is a small token for the huge effort set forth each day by such dedicated educators.
ó Angelia Bates
Salisbury

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