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Letters to the editor – Wednesday (10-19-11)

Support helps CIS continue work in our local schools
Thanks for the excellent coverage of the work being done by Communities in Schools of Rowan (CIS) at Knox Middle School and North Rowan High School. The work being done by site coordinators Bob Foreman and Traci Fleming is representative of the challenges being faced and met by dedicated site coordinators at Knox and North High as well as Hanford-Dole, Koontz, Overton and North Rowan elementaries and North Rowan Middle School. CIS has this year also expanded services to South Rowan High.
Nationally, the Communities in Schools program is recognized through data and research as an effective way to support students and families and increase graduation rates. Our local program works to bring resources of many kinds to the hundreds of students at each site. These resources may include providing uniform clothing or assistance with applications for jobs or college. Site directors also match students with tutors and mentors. That personal relationship is the hallmark of the success of CIS.
I wish to express my thanks to the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education for including support of $25,000 for CIS Rowan in the boardís annual budget. Executive Director Vicky Slusser works tirelessly to seek funding from about a dozen different grant sources including United Way of Rowan, the Robertson Foundation, the Woodson Foundation, Salisbury Community Foundation, Schneider Electric, True North Foundation, Target Foundation, Speedway Children’s Charities and CIS of North Carolina. This highly diversified funding stream has kept services to Rowan-Salisbury students stable and even growing during difficult economic times.
Communities in Schools of Rowan represents a tremendous bargain for our school system!
ó Dr. Ron Turbyfill
Landis
Turbyfill is board chair for Communities in Schools of Rowan.
Improving life for all ages
Over the last couple of months, the Post has been kind in publishing several feature articles about services provided through Rufty-Holmes Senior Center. These have included stories on the summer fan program, the Senior Friendly Business Certification Program, the ěScam Jamî event held to educate older adults on scams and fraud, the senior nutrition program and one on older workers.
We sincerely appreciate this exposure that helps us inform and educate the community about these needs. We would also like to remind everyone the center is a Rowan County United Way member agency, and that the support we receive from the United Way campaign each year makes many of our services possible.
If you are a regular contributor to the United Way, we thank you. If you have never contributed before, please consider a pledge of $1 per week to this cause that helps persons of all ages in our community. It does make a difference.
ó Rick Eldridge
Salisbury
Eldridge is executive director of the Rufty-Holmes Senior Center.
Ask the tough questions
Several years ago the state and local affairs committee of the Salisbury-Rowan Chamber of Commerce found a way to expand public interest in our electoral process. It decided to sponsor public meetings with the candidates; the theme was to ask all candidates questions prepared by unknown third parties and submitted to them. They would have several minutes to respond and a moderator controlled the proceedings. While the Chamber is to be congratulated for its diligence, the opportunity for complete public participation has not been honored by those administering the campaign forums.
If one attends the session, he/she will notice the manner by which the moderator asks questions. While the illusion of democracy is present, I submit it is not a fact. The moderator is given a list of questions for the candidatesí responses. The list is generated by the Salisbury Post collecting suggested questions and forwarding them to the moderator. I have some concern about the selection of the questions. Will the panel be asked to respond to the mayorís decision to introduce the ownership, management and operation of Fibrant? Will she explain the conditions of the mortgage of $35 million yoked upon all our citizens without their knowledge and approval?
Her leadership with the City Council reminds me of ědemocratic socialism,î a Soviet/Russian term; the phrase means and reflects a lack of democracy. Attendees could not join the audience and listen to the proceedings before making their contributions to/and at the meeting to arrive at all the facts. The fear of too much knowledge was viewed as something dangerous.
Closer to home, would the founders of the United States view a situation where citizens want to learn and are denied full participation as democracy? Decisions canít be made without full disclosure.
ó Arthur Steinberg
Salisbury

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