Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 7, 2013

VA loves trees, too, and will plant more
Regarding the Feb. 5 letter “Does VA hate trees?”:
We want to thank your reader for asking about the trees that are being removed on the Salisbury VA campus. We are very proud of our beautiful expansive campus, and we, too, love our magnificent trees and the charm they lend to our center.
Because of multiple ongoing construction projects, several trees have been disturbed either by soil compaction and/or excavation of soil. Several instances of limbs falling on or near structures and even on sidewalks have occurred in the last several months. The damage or destruction of the root system for a tree that is 50 or more years in age has weakened the trees, and as a result trees have started to shed their limbs. The slow death of the disturbed trees will take place during a 15- to 25-year span. In order to maintain the Salisbury VA campus beautification, some of the internally damaged trees have been selected for removal and new trees have been, or will soon be, replanted in the same locations.
At the present time, the last tree scheduled for removal and replanting on the Salisbury VA campus is located along the road as you exit the front of the facility to Brenner Avenue. It is anticipated that in another 15 to 25 years another cycle of trees will need to be removed and replanted to maintain trees and facility safety. Our grounds shop is committed to daily maintenance in an effort to maximize the life span of each tree and maintain the beauty of our Salisbury campus.
— Kaye Green


Kaye Green is the director of the Salisbury VA Medical Center.

Spare Social Security

Regarding recent proposal to cut Social Security benefits to help bring down the deficit:
Since when did “our” retirement benefits become the personal property of the president and his administration to do with as they please?
“We” are the people who worked to earn enough quarters to qualify for retirement benefits. Social Security taxes were withheld from our paychecks every payday. When I saw “we,” I am referring to the elderly and the Baby Boomers.
Here’s a suggestion: Cut the salary of the president and his administration in half. I’m sure they stand a better chance of surviving on half their pay than a poor person making minimum wage or the unemployed struggling to survive on food stamps and odd jobs.
Recent comments have referred to people “who expect the government to keep them up with free services.” Yes, I’m sure some people do expect that, and some people take advantage of these services. Welfare benefits could be scaled back somewhat. But there also are some individuals who really need assistance.
My opinion: The White House should keep its paws off of “our” well-earned benefits. Find another solution, Mr. President!
— Ellie Mae Lambert