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Letters to the editor – Tuesday (6-03-08)

Proposal needs additional study
This letter is in response to reading about the proposal from the Westside Community Foundation to the Salisbury Planning Board.
The purpose for this proposal presented by the Westside Community Foundation is to provide housing and rehabilitation services for recently released ex-convicts. I would address three major issues that I believe will underscore my concerns:
1. Due diligence: Did the Planning Department research the traffic patterns, crime stats and the numbers of calls to the police department from the citizens in this area? The number of ex-convicts currently living in the area? The article never mentioned that documentation was provided by the foundation to validate program funding, services provided or screening protocol, at a minimum.
2. The proposed facility would be located in a highly populated family oriented residential area that is within walking distance of Salisbury High School. When Dr. Winsor Eagle made changes at the school, he always brought those plans to the community.
3. This isn’t a “not in my neighborhood issue.” The Brookings Institution has done several studies on ex-convicts and how location and environment play a primary role in their rehabilitation success.
Programs such as the one being proposed are needed and supported. However, this one is being set up to fail because of a lack of due diligence and proper planning regarding the environment and location of the program. I served on the Salisbury Planning Board for seven years, and we would not have been asked to make a recommendation to City Council without all of the above information being studied or researched before presenting for approval. This program can work if placed in a sparsely populated, low crime nonresidential area. Recently released ex-convicts deserve just as much planning, research and forethought as any other citizens who may need community service to improve their lives.
ó DeeDee Wright
Salisbury
Inspirational figures
Bradley Carlton, thanks for the nice (May 15) letter about churches and schools. You are one of the many fine young people we never hear anything about. I have always said, “One bad apple in a bushel spoils them all, but the bad one gets all the attention.” Many people say our problems started when they took prayer out of school. I think it’s when we take prayer out of our homes. Parents don’t get involved with their children in church, so they place the blame on others. Parents, remember children can’t drive and need you with them in God’s house to share his word with them and grow in Christ together.
Sometimes, our church family lets us down, but God will never let you down. He is with us in our valleys, as well as on the mountaintop.
Thank you, Bradley, and keep up the good work. God will truly bless you,.
Thank you, Tom Morgan, for the letter about our beloved songwriter Dottie Rambo. Her songs are found in our church hymnals. She was loved by many who knew her and heard her sing her songs, which you knew were inspired by God.
My niece took me to Thomasville to hear her in concert. We had a backstage pass to meet her in person and have pictures made with her. She was a very loving, down-to-earth person you felt like you had known all your life. She deserved a nice write-up in the paper, like Mr. Morgan said. She was a true spirit-filled person with many struggles in her life, but she kept the faith, and God used her in songs and messages. My pictures are special memories of her, and in the valley he restoreth my soul.
ó Betty L. Lippard
Salisbury
Raising the stakes?
Do you think the state of North Carolina is going to do what state education officials say they are planning to do? I’m an eighth-grade student here at Southeast Middle School, and I think there is an issue on the “Gateway,” where students have to score well on a written test ó in other words, the EOGs ó to advance on to the next grade.
I hear there is going to be no summer school, and if you fail on either your math or reading EOG, you would be held back. I’m sorry, but I don’t think the state is going to do what they say they are. I don’t think the state of North Carolina has done the greatest job on keeping its word. And I haven’t ever worried about the EOGs, so I said to myself “Why Now?” I say, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”
I don’t think it fair to put more pressure or stress on us kids if you’re not even going to do what you say.
ó Jared Books
Salisbury

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