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Letters to the editor-Monday (5-18-09)

Social worker’s judgment was just appalling
Last night my wife and I met with several friends for our biweekly Bible study. During idle chatter before the meeting, the subject of the “lawnmower and the social worker” incident you reported in Wednesday’s (May 13) Post was mentioned. To a person, everyone was appalled by the actions of the social worker as described in that story.
We see this type thing happen over and over again as out-of-control government bureaucrats, who view themselves as somehow having better judgment than private individuals, proceed to meddle in matters which are none of their business.
Must we be protected from ourselves? Our freedoms are being gradually taken away under the guise of “safety,” and it is time we take a stand against this trend.
Who is this social worker and what qualifies her to second-guess an obviously loving and caring family? Who is in a better position to judge what is good for a child? What is the social worker doing on private property without due process? Is she possessed of superior intellect? Does she have extensive training in child welfare? Is she gifted with special insight?
My guess is that none of that is the case, but rather she is an average person with limited training who is stroking her own ego by abusing authority assigned to her by someone else.
I note that the director of Social Services “addressed the incident” with the social worker but no mention is made of any disciplinary action. Why not?
ó James R. Smith
Salisbury
Fiber-optic sealed the deal
I’ll admit it, I’m a Luddite: I’m challenged by just about everything technological, including microwave cooking, text messaging and digital photography. Heck, I’m still trying to figure out “new math”!
That said, I disagree strongly with the opinions of the John Locke Foundation reported in your article “City calls John Locke brief uninformed opinion” (May 12).
I’m a self-employed average taxpayer who is relocating my business and residence to Salisbury next month, and fiber-optic service (FIOS) coming to town in 2010 sealed the deal.
Presently, I use FIOS in my Northern Virginia home for phone, internet and TV. High-speed internet access is such an advantage both to my work and personal life that its availability became a deal breaker as I searched for a new home in a smaller town.
Make no mistake: Salisbury baited me with its impressive economic development plan ó its emphasis on historic preservation and the arts ó and its warmly welcoming residents.
But a girl’s gotta eat, and these days even a freelance writer such as myself needs high-speed Internet to stay connected and keep her revenue stream flowing. As the Piedmont’s bio-tech corridor evolves, attracting more residents to this area, I’m betting there will be a whole lot more folks like me who’ll be looking for the superb quality of life that Salisbury offers, made even better by the availability of FIOS.
Three cheers for the city officials who have the foresight and wisdom to keep Salisbury’s infrastructure at pace with the 21st century needs of its citizens and businesses.
ó Wendy Wilson
Arlington, Va.
The Arc’s dream now a reality
Thank you, Rowan Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Susan Kluttz, County Commissioner Raymon Coltrane, The Arc of Rowan Board of Directors and the 100-plus in attendance for a day to celebrate the new apartments for people with disabilities. A ribbon-cutting and open house presented a great opportunity to introduce the new apartments. This project has been a collaborative effort with The Arc of North Carolina, HUD and the N.C. Finance Agency. The project started in 2005 with a HUD 811 grant and was completed this May.
The Arc of Rowan is a proud Rowan County United Way agency. This apartment project is an example of how funding from resources other than United Way allows The Arc to expand opportunities to people with developmental disabilities without using United Way dollars. Such grants allow The Arc of Rowan to utilize Rowan County United Way dollars in other areas that do not have resources.
Thank you to all who made the apartment project progress from a dream to a reality. The community support has been oustanding! We greatly appreciate everyone’s efforts.
ó Robert Ritchie and Jane Jackman
Ritchie is president of The Arc of Rowan Board of Directors and Jackman is executive director of The Arc of Rowan.
Funding critical for Alzheimer’s
As a person affected by Alzheimer’s disease personally and professionally, I was deeply moved by the HBO documentary series “the Alzheimer’s Project.”
The series takes an up-close and deeply personal look at what Alzheimer’s brings to one’s doorstep and more importantly what it slowly steals ó memory, movement, independence and eventually life.
This documentary couldn’t be more timely. With an aging baby boomer population at risk for developing this disease, the escalating Alzheimer crisis touches a life every 70 seconds. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and 16 million could have it by 2050. As many as 170,000 North Carolina residents, age 65 and older, will have the disease next year.
For those who will confront Alzheimer’s, there is one central issue. Unlike almost every other disease affecting older Americans, there is no effective treatment. Our U.S. representatives have the power to help prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s. They must increase Alzheimer research funding by an additional $250 million in the 2010 budget.
The only way to defeat Alzheimer’s is to accelerate investment in scientific research. Government funding for Alzheimer research has been insufficient considering the staggering impact the disease will have on Medicare and Medicaid. Inadequate funding also threatens to squander the scientific progress researchers have made to date.
This is how we turn scientific progress into breakthroughs that save lives. Our country cannot afford the Alzheimer epidemic. The human costs are devastating and the costs to our healthcare system unsustainable. Increasing Alzheimer research funding will provide a gift of incalculable value to all Americans.
ó Margaret Moody
Harrisburg
Ugly gateway into Salisbury
Having seen two recent succinct letters to the editor in the Salisbury Post regarding the (lack of) maintenance of the newly constructed medians and sidewalks on U.S. 70, I was prompted to send this along to you, in case you find it newsworthy.
I had to contact the state several times last year to request that the medians be mowed. I also requested better maintenance of the sidewalks but was told that neither the state (which constructed the walks), nor the city (which requested them), nor the county (where they’re located) has responsibility for caretaking. It’s left to the residents.
That begs the question regarding the unoccupied areas. They and the medians have become an eyesore for the residents (who never wanted them in the first place), and they provide a very unsightly gateway to Salisbury from the west side.
I would challenge the Post to inspect these areas (around Enon Church Road is a good example) and do some investigation. Perhaps some information in the Post will prompt action by the city, state, or county.
The bottom line is that we have medians that were actively opposed by the residents, who must now endure their unattractiveness because the state will not fulfill its responsibility to keep them mowed. Why have grass covered medians in the first place without a regular schedule for mowing? In addition, sidewalks to nowhere (they end at Hurley School Road) that are hardly used now look like they’re ten years old in places because the state built them at the request of the city, neither of which had plans to maintain their unoccupied areas, again an eyesore borne primarily by the nearby residents.
Though the attached pictures are from last year, the situation remains.
ó Stuart Smith
Salisbury
Problem ignored
Coming home every day from Mooresville and being exposed to a very unkempt median on U.S. 70 makes me wonder: Why is this section of Salisbury so ignored by our City Council and mayor? Also, across from the fire station on the U.S. 70 median, a good size block came off and is still left unattended for more than months.
I remember when there were talks about the median and how it would be well maintained and a beautiful way to access the city. Are we talking about the same Salisbury? Frankly, the entrance to our pretty Southern city is very depressing and just plainly ugly.
Hey, City Council, why not actually hire someone and work on those ugly spots who reflect very badly on our town.
ó Annick Nurisso
Salisbury

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