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Letters to the editor – Wednesday (8-26-09)

Veterans Service officer is getting the job done
The recent articles about the Rowan County Veteran Service Office (VSO) and letters to the editor had misleading information and some unwarranted personal defamation of the Veterans Service officer.
I want to assure the public that Rowan County VSO Elaine Howle is getting the job done with accurate and timely filing of benefit claims, having assisted 1,759 veterans last year.
She has earned her accredited certification to represent the N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs and the American Legion to present claims before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
A July 20 audit performed by the Clemmons N.C. DVA District Office said, after reviewing random files, “no errors were found, and all claims were thoroughly worked ensuring that claimants received all benefits of legal entitlement.”
The delay in receiving benefits is due to the time it takes for the VA system to research and process claims and is not a reflection on how claims are submitted.
The Veterans Services Office is supported by the Rowan Senior Services Department in the Rufty Holmes Senior Center. Veterans visiting our office now have convenient parking, an automatic door entrance, a welcoming receptionist and a comfortable waiting room. There is no backlog of veterans waiting to be seen as implied in the article. Appointments are arranged within a three- to four-day schedule.
The Board of Commissioners should be commended on their approval of a nearly $50,000 county-funded budget to support the Veterans Service Office. This budget is more than sufficient to support the VSO salary, training, travel, supplies and technology support. Based on the current level of contacts with our office, there is no justification to add personnel.
Our commissioners and our department honor the sacrifices of our men and women in all services and will support continuing improvements in delivering quality services to veterans.
ó Clyde Fahnestock
Salisbury
Fahnestock is director of Rowan County Senior Services.
Great team, great coverage
What a great season for the Rowan American Legion team, its fans and other supporters. Coach Jim Gantt sets high standards for his players, and they consistently rise to meet them. Emphasizing team work and hard work, Gantt also helps to prepare his young men for life. Not only does he expect success on the baseball field but also in the classroom and in the community.
The Salisbury Post is also to be commended for its financial commitment to providing outstanding coverage of the team’s successful season. In today’s economic climate and the financial challenge which newspapers face, sending two reporters and a photographer to Fargo, N.D., showed the Post’s commitment to continuing to provide outstanding local coverage of sports and news. The articles and columns were excellent, and I read every word of every article as well as viewing the outstanding photographs.
Memories 1280 and WSTP both provided excellent coverage, which I was able to access through the Internet. Much to my surprise, I was able to watch the Legion World Series games on my computer and the quality of the picture was outstanding. Modern technology is great.
I would guess that no other team in Fargo enjoyed the high level of fan and media support as did Rowan. That says a lot about the commitment of locals to supporting quality sports.
Now we can turn our attention to local high school football and other sports, along with Livingstone and Catawba College football. It should be a great fall for all!
ó Phil Kirk
Raleigh
Polka Dots offer oompah
This letter is in reference to the Aug. 22 article titled “Rowan Museum to host GERMANFEST.” It states “… will feature an evening of German food, beer, bluegrass music (no oompah bands in Rowan) …”
My mission the past three years has been to instill in Rowan County a love for the music of the ‘Old World’ ó specifically providing an oompah band featuring the international, Czech and German music of the past. The Polka Dots polka band, with six exceptional musicians, has given of its considerable time and talent to play for schools, important local events, churches and for a wide-variety of fund-raising causes ó many times for no charge.
To contribute to the knowledge and enjoyment of our German descendants’ folk music, the residents of Rowan County can now experience it in its present day form ó the polka/oompah band. Our polka band strives to herald the folk music of the past! Our music is cross-generational in its appeal and has been very well received in this county.
In October we will be performing for the popular German restaurant in Pineville, for the Brewmasters of Charlotte at the Metrolina Expo, for Historic Salisbury’s October Tour and will feature our own local polka party for everyone who wishes to come and have fun with us at the Looking Glass, Friday evening, Oct. 30.
We are alive and well and will continue working, committed to the appreciation of the traditional “Old World” folk music of the German population that settled in Rowan County. Our music is international in its appeal and is truly meant for everyone’s enjoyment.
ó Lorna Brown
Salisbury
Brown is the manager of the Polka Dots.

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