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Letters to the editor 3-26-08

Building more prisons won’t address the core problems
Regarding the March 16 editorial “Why jails need cells”:
The editorial explains that we should increase the capacity to lock up people due to the actions of the most violent in our society, i.e. murder defendant Laurence A. Lovette Jr. Using this type of logic, I would also have to infer that we need to distrust, investigate and suspect all of our government leaders. Why? The pages before and after this editorial are rife with government scandals.
I don’t believe this kind of logic will help our government leaders to be more honest, nor do I think that making more jail/prison space will deter criminals or make our citizens feel safer in an increasingly divided and violent society.
For decades, North Carolina has been building bigger jails and more prisons, trying to stem the tide while throwing token efforts at solutions to what causes crime and gang activity. We empower our leaders to think for us, and to this date, none of them seem to have humbled their egos to get real with the human beings who commit crimes and are then dehumanized and warehoused in boxes.
We need solutions to our collective illness. While I admit that we cannot ignore offenders, we must tackle crime, violence and gangs as a “whole” society. A “war on crime” turns into “us against them” attitudes. A new attitude needs to be taken where our legislators and administrators work together with those who have previously offended and even those who are currently incarcerated to come up with real and viable solutions to cure our problems. Crime and recidivism are but symptoms.
Maybe it sounds crazy to look to criminals for solutions to crime. Remember, though, that alcoholics came up with Alcoholics Anonymous. Imagine with me what real unity could do for this great state.
ó W. Kenneth Handy
Piedmont Correctional Institution
Late water fee isn’t fair
I live in China Grove and received a note on my water bill that says if the bill is not paid by the 15th of the month, you will be charged a 10 percent fee.
I am a little ticked off because, honestly, what does it cost them if you pay it on the 15th or the 20th? Absolutely nothing. You can’t even fall past the 24th or they will cut your water off.
The economy is suffering enough. Look at gas prices, food prices, etc. You almost can’t afford to live anymore, and then you get hit with ridiculous fees like this.
ó Anna Worrel
China Grove
Good Samaritans among us
Two weeks ago, my truck quit on me as I left my job to pick my son up from his job. I pulled over across from West Rowan High School. Thinking I might have been out of gas, I grabbed my gas can and proceeded to walk toward the nearest gas station on U.S. 70. I had only walked about 50 paces when a man in a pickup across the street stopped and said he’d take me to get the gas. He introduced himself and said he was a teacher at the high school. He was quite a guy, kind, considerate and understanding of my situation. I bought the gas, and we returned to my truck and poured the gas in the tank. But the truck still wouldn’t run. Well, I thanked him and said I’d find some way of getting the truck going. He asked where my son worked. “Lane Punch,” I answered (thinking there’s no way I could ask this kind stranger to go that far). He immediately said, “Let’s go!” I was totally amazed at this. I offered him gas money, to which he said, “I can’t take that; this is a blessing for you and that would take the blessing away.”
After retrieving my son, the man took me back to the truck to check it out and then took me home to Cleveland. He lives in China Grove!
Amazing! He went completely in the opposite direction to get me and my son home! This Good Samaritan’s name is Rodney Harrington. He’s an angel in disguise… Thanks, Rodney. I’ve made a great friend, and any time I can be of assistance to you, please let it be known.
ó Antonio Rollins
Cleveland

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