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Letters to the editor – Saturday (10-11-08)

Blues and Jazz Festival celebrates its 10th year
As we prepare for the 10th annual Blues and Jazz Festival today, where are we now?
Hats off to the past performers who helped to form the foundation of local support for the blues and jazz ó Ken Carroll, Phyllis Partee, Bob Paolino, Ernestine Ingram, Albert Stout, Henderson “Hump” Stout, Ladell Yates, Carlton Jackson, Mark Crossley, Ed Clark, Rebecca Stinson, Joe Ponds, Clyde and Libby Young.
Most of these musicians have donated their time and talent to the Rowan Blues and Jazz Society, fundraisers and festivals over the past nine years. Their continued support is appreciated and important.
The first festival was billed as a Blues and Jazz Jam and Fish Fry. Salisbury’s most talented musicians came together to jam on a Saturday afternoon and evening. Our audiences get involved by showing their appreciation for the solos and riffs with ovations. Visiting musicians say that the Salisbury audiences are the best and the hospitality is truly Southern.
Dr. Neutron ó aka Ed Clark ó insisted that we have a headliner band and sponsored the awesome Ladies Auxiliary Blues Band. The three ladies at that time entertained the audience by strolling through the audience and playing the blues.
Ken Weaver, former owner of GX Fitness, proposed that the first blues and jazz festival be held in his parking lot at the corner of Main and Bank streets. We set up tents from the Arts Council. Drivers and travelers thought that a revival meeting was being held. Little did they know we were preparing for a signature blues and jazz festival. One of our first festival signs was made using a white plastic shower curtain with plastic lettering. It served its purpose that year.
We have worked hard to get to the 10th year. We welcome new partners and willing workers to continue this tradition.
ó Eleanor Qadirah
Salisbury
Eleanor Qadirah is president of the Rowan Blues and Jazz Society. Festival performances begin today at 2:15 p.m., in the parking lot at the corner of South Church and West Fisher Streets.
The real enemy is fear
I agree with Donna Kesler (Oct. 9 letter, “Election fear factor”) on one thing: This election is serious, and voters should think carefully about their choices. However, her attempt to inflame fear and hate by implying that Barack Obama’s name implies a connection with Sadam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden is not only ignorant but irresponsible.
Senator Obama has clearly demonstrated his love of and loyalty to this country through his service both before and during this grueling campaign, as well as in his many addresses to citizens around the nation. Instead of reacting to superficial, simplistic catch words that reflect racial and ethnic prejudice, I suggest time is better spent listening to the candidates on the issues and examining their records.
Let us try to overcome our fears and consider what is best for the country instead of letting fear of change paralyze us into supporting the same failed policies.
ó Nan Lund
Salisbury
This is change, all right
Why do we hear “we don’t need eight more years of Bush”? What we need now is more of the first six years of Bush before Congress changed to a Democratic control. Bush’s hands have been tied for the last two years and there in lies the problems we have today. Before the Democratic gained control of Congress in 2006, Americans enjoyed $2.19 gas, and unemployment was at 4.5 percent. The Dow Jones hit 14,000, and Americans were buying new cars, taking cruises and other nice vacations, remodeling their homes or buying new homes. We enjoyed high credit limits and lower federal tax rates, with our only national fear being another 9/11, which has not happened to this date thanks to the Bush changes. So when we all wanted change in the form of a Democratic Congress, we sure got change. Big change!
Now we have $4 gas or no gas; unemployment at 6 percent and rising; the Dow Jones average below 9,000 and retirement plans evaporating, with a $2 trillion loss in a short 15 months; homes being foreclosed, with equity in our homes going down instead of up; low credit limits, and forget a vacation ó we can’t afford it. All this in less than two years under a Democratic Congress.
What will we get with a new inexperienced Democratic president with a Democratic-controlled Congress? A repeat of the Carter years? Now that is change that scares me. I say, give me four more years of the Bush first six years when we had a Republican-controlled Congress under a Republican president. This would be going back to a change we can live with.
ó Katherine Isenhour
Salisbury
Veterans’ sacrifices
In regard to the Oct. 4 article about the VA Center (“Hefner VA Medical Center director says hospital is not closing”):
The director must not have been around when we came back from Vietnam. The American people hated us for being in Vietnam. Some even spit at us. The Vietnamese also used kids with bombs to kill American soldiers. Seems to me it doesn’t take long for people to forget ‘Nam. But to those of us who were there and served our country, we will never forget.
The real tragedy to me is that I was in service during the Korean and Vietnam wars. I left Vietnam after serving one tour. I went to the VA hospital in Poplar Bluff, Mo., for a few years. Four to be exact.
I went to the VA here to get a new card two years ago. I finally got the card. But I don’t guess it will do my any good. The hospital denied me medical treatment.
ó James E. Ferguson
Woodleaf
Resources for elder care
On Sept. 30, my mother, Norma Jean Thompson, died following a long journey through the troubling maze of Alzheimer’s Disease. As an RN and her primary caregiver for over a decade, I write thankfully today to inform the citizens of Rowan County of the marvelous assistance and encouragement available to caregivers in our community. Since arriving in Salisbury in 2004 our family has been impressed by the level of support and information provided by genuinely caring people serving through various local elder care organizations.
I appreciate and have benefited greatly from the following professionals, and am aware of other fine agencies, as well. Senior Services, a public entity operating from the Rufty-Holmes Center, consistently offers a wide range of focused helps, resources and personal expertise, as well as hosting a caregiver support group. Abundant Living Adult Day Care, a Lutheran Services for the Aging ministry, is a refreshing oasis which creates a thoughtful, tender environment filled with fun, fellowship and stimulation in a marvelous new state-of-the-art facility. It is not too much to say that these have been “life-savers” for our family. Each organization is staffed with well trained folks who provide a truly family-based approach to elder care, counsel and education. I conclude by acknowledging Joyce Swinson and her remarkable family in Rockwell. Throughout the final months of her life, my mother was for all intents and purposes adopted by them. As I reflect on these past years, I am humbled by the people who contributed so much to her care and our needs. Being a caregiver requires much giving of yourself, so if you are a caregiver to loved ones, please avail yourself of the many quality services nearby. Let them help. You will be blessed as I have been.
ó Carol S. Kirker
Salisbury
Endorsement letters
Letters endorsing local candidates in the Nov. 4 election must be received in the Salisbury Post newsroom by 5 p.m., Oct. 27. Please limit endorsements to 150 words.

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