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Letters Monday June 29, 2009

Negligent landlords hurt neighborhoodsRegarding the June 24 article “Designing downtown”:
A caring and enthusiastic group of people came together with positive ideas on ways to improve downtown Salisbury.
One issue came up repeatedly deserving further comment.
Downtown will only be successful if the community takes seriously the need to clean up the surrounding neighborhoods making the perimeter safe, livable and clean with desirable properties for those people choosing to live within the areas. Residents near downtown come from diverse backgrounds, ethnic groups and income levels. Unfortunately, there are many boarded-up, neglected houses where drug trade, prostitution and vagrant activity, fueled by slum landlords, make it difficult for young families with children, older adults and all decent people in between to make a good life.
Thank you to all good rental property owners who work with your tenants to keep up your properties, supporting a cleaner standard of living.
Shame on you to the many irresponsible and negligent landlords who choose to keep properties sub-livable, further encouraging drug dealing and criminal activity.
Thank you to the Salisbury Police Department and to the Division of Code Enforcement under the direction of Chris Branham who have been extremely supportive and successful in helping the Brooklyn South Square neighborhood work on the above ongoing issues.
Owners of problem properties, please take some pride in Salisbury, get a conscience and clean up your properties or sell to someone who will improve them. Don’t wait for downtown improvement to increase your financial investment, but instead, contribute to and help drive the enhancement of neighborhoods, and all will benefit. Once this cycle begins, new businesses, restaurants, park areas and people-friendly events can begin to exist in a pedestrian safe environment in our beautiful downtown Salisbury.
ó Jo Linn Cash and Mimi Howard
Salisbury (Brooklyn South Square neighborhood)
City should revisit 2-hour parking ruleSalisbury is now blessed with several fine downtown restaurants, and it appears that business is improving all over. It is long overdue, and citizens should be glad they no longer have to leave Rowan for a good meal. The problem that is hurting business is parking, a longtime problem. Salisbury was smart years ago to remove the parking meters to pull shoppers downtown.
But now, another problem has taken its place: Two-hour parking downtown. It takes nearly an hour now to park and dine during lunch downtown. So with only one hour left before they have to go move their car, many people who just dined will get in their cars and leave instead of walking the shops so they won’t get a parking ticket.
Surely the city can see that increased sales tax will overshadow the revenue from parking tickets and promote downtown shopping. Employers who would take up downtown parking are just hurting their own business. Save parking for paying customers. Eliminating the two-hour parking is an idea that needs to be reviewed.
ó Rodney Cress
Salisbury
Another suggestion for Brenner safetyLast week we read about the new lights installed on Brenner Avenue. I drive on Brenner Avenue almost every day, and I am sure that all people who walk and drive along this street certainly appreciate this addition.
However, there is one more thing, in my opinion, that needs to be done for those traveling by automobile on Brenner. When the left turn lanes were added to Brenner Avenue, these areas became very dangerous, especially at night and when it is raining. The new lighting could possibly cause reflections off the pavement at night during rain or ice storms; therefore causing the curbing to be less visible and even more dangerous. The inside curbing along these areas needs to be painted yellow so when it is dark, raining, etc. travelers could see these dangerous, rather sharp angles of the road. Just one drive along Brenner Avenue is reminiscent of an obstacle course.
Yellow lines would certainly add to the safety of these left turn areas.
ó R.T. Lowery
Salisbury
Lawmakers deaf on annexation
Can anyone tell me the difference in what they convicted House Speaker Jim Black of and what is going on between foes of fair annexation and the League of Municipalities? One difference might be that the legislators are being wined, dined and funded by taxpayer money through the league and not just from chiropractors, which makes it even worse.
A lady spoke Thursday at a meeting of the Judiciary Committee, which had been canceled two days in a row by Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, although many of us traveled to Raleigh to attend. She stated that this problem had been going on for nine years, and legislators needed to enact the reforms citizens are asking for so they don’t have to come back up every year. Every issue to benefit the citizens was voted down before the measure was sent on to the Finance Committee.
The l0 Democrats voted no on everything, and seven Republicans voted yes. We really need to remember who our friends in the legislature are at the next election. A Rowan Democratic representative did not even speak to us on Wednesday or acknowledge that we were there but could not help but see us with our red shirts on.
If you are interested in that seat, start making your plans. You should have lots of Rowan County support.
This Legislature is the biggest farce there has ever been, run by a few and not a few good men. North Carolina is one of four or five states that allow forced annexation, so who is wrong? What they are doing to the citizens is a clear case of injustice, because they can.
ó Barbara Earley
Salisbury
The proper use of executive power
Congratulations to the president. His use of executive authority granting same-sex partners (of federal employees) the protection they deserve, as per the Constitution, is wonderfully legal. Since the Constitution says equality for all and doesn’t say “… except for …,” he has shown the “morality police” he values the law for all citizens without exception. Once should hope that he would come to the defense of other groups whose constitutional rights have been denied, if they exist.
Hopefully, Obama will use the same swift justice in dealing with the “tyranny of oil” (as cited by author Antonio Juhasz). If he would return to the 55 mph limit for federal highways, our national oil consumption would be reduced. The accident rate also might decrease, our medical infrastructure would not be overburdened, and this could help the health systems at all levels by reducing their economic burdens. As the only industrial nation lacking universal coverage, why don’t we help him help us? Consider the amount of time and money the insurance (health) industry spends to sustain itself, to our detriment.
Should all vehicles under the executive branch be converted to hybrids, one can imagine the amount of reduced petroleum needs and the effect on our foreign trade. And should the federal government develop the needed infrastructure for serving these vehicles, the American public would see a range of beneficial possibilities, from the reduction in pollution to the use of petroleum products in such areas as medicine.
Democrat and Republican ideologies govern the interests of their various pressure groups, but independents may be more open to different and controversial thoughts. Which is more important ó GOP, Dem or the USA?
ó Arthur K. Steinberg
Salisbury

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