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Letters to the editor – Tuesday (7-15-08)

VA center intersection needs traffic signal
The intersection at the Salisbury VA Medical Center is a dangerous one. Veterans, employees, family members and friends who drive to the facility can acknowledge this fact. Often we hear, “Someone has to die at the intersection before we can get a traffic signal.” Accidents happen at every angle of the intersection. But why should we wait until we have lost a loved one before we become proactive in asking Salisbury City Council and the Department of Transportation to sit down and discuss the safety of veterans and others at the intersection of Brenner Avenue and South Link Avenue, directly in front of the VAMC entrance? Veterans and employees tell me accidents have been happening since long before 1989, when I began working for the medical center.
I’m not just asking for consideration of a traffic signal, but a walkway, too. Veterans and employees don’t have a walkway for crossing from the VAMC to the other side of Brenner. There are increasing numbers of veterans with wheelchairs and motorized scooters trying to cross Brenner Avenue. It’s quite difficult for them at times. No one never knows when drivers are going to come through at a speed of more than 35 miles an hour, hit someone and have the driver say, “I couldn’t stop in time.” The situation becomes challenging when there are no witnesses because then you have assumptions made, and the ruling by a police officer may not always go in the favor of the victim who sustained the most damage.
I’m asking Salisbury City Council, the Department of Transportation, American Legion Posts, VFW Post and other interested persons to review the statistics of reported traffic accidents at Brenner and South Link Avenues. They should do so for the safety of our veterans, VAMC employees, family members and friends.
ó Chi-Chi Ray-Leazer
Salisbury
It’s time to speak up
There are several versions of this verse, “I didn’t speak up.”
First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for the sick, the so-called incurables, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t mentally ill. (One different version)
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.
For those West Rowan users of RITA van service, you failed to speak up by writing or calling so “they” (whoever “they” are) voted, and Monday/Tuesday will continue to be our days.
I expect that “they” are not disabled, do not have to depend on public transportation and have very little understanding of the inconveniences this has caused some of us. Some of you will say, “But, I’m not a writer.” I believe that most of you could have made some phone calls.
Disabled people need to speak up for themselves because the time will come when no one else will “speak up for us.” If it were not for the American Disabilities Association, that time would have been here long ago.
I may be an advocate, a squeaky wheel (voice), but I can’t be all things to all people, so without the help of others, I may have to just “speak up for me.”
And to my readers, you don’t have to be disabled to speak up for us or “speak up for me.”
ó Linda Beck
Woodleaf

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