The Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission (URRC) was created during the final three days of the 2010 legislative session when a bill to allow a Boone water intake system which had already passed the House was completely rewritten in the Senate. It was passed without debate or public comment. While the bill, as written, might have been beneficial to this area, it quickly proved to be deceptive. All but one of the URRC’s original appointed members, and two of its present, were proponents of the state taking over Alcoa’s Yadkin Project license, land, and business, while paying Alcoa 5 percent of the project’s worth. The URRC’s agendas and actions were dominated by that one special interest throughout its existence.
The URRC was an abrogation of democratic principles and an abuse of power.
Despite repeated complaints, four of the URRC’s meetings were held in rooms which were too small to provide sufficient seating for the public. Commission members sat around conference tables in overstuffed chairs with the public in a second circle behind their backs, many of them standing. The public could not tell who was talking nor hear what was said. The last meeting was held in a room which was not accessible to persons with disabilities. Also despite repeated complaints, most commission meetings were followed by private catered dinners which violated the state’s open meeting statute.
It’s no wonder the General Assembly, which defeated the Yadkin River Trust legislation in 2009, wrote this commission out. The only thing that was set back was Roger Dick’s obsession to take over the Yadkin Project. The vast majority of the region’s citizens were not represented by the commission and were disenfranchised. The URRC was bad government, and we’re better off without it.
— Ann Brownlee
For almost 135 years, Livingstone College has been a cornerstone of Salisbury’s historic West End. The college has made great strides academically in moving its students to the next level, but it leaves much to be desired as a steward of the historic properties it owns on West Monroe Street and surrounding areas.
For those who became a part of this great college community as students, faculty and staff, administrators and supporters, neighborhood residents and others who walked “beneath the maples and oaks” or traveled West Monroe as a thoroughfare to other areas, there was once a great sense of pride in the lovely, well-kept homes and manicured lawns. After the demise of faculty- and staff-occupied homes, many of the residences were rented or sold to other professionals in the community, and the area became a mecca for the middle class. Several owners willed or sold their properties to the college.
Now, when people walk along West Monroe and look at fallen trees, overgrown laws, shattered windows and the overall devastation of once-beautiful homes, it makes you wonder: Can it be?
Also, many who attended S.E. Duncan School (or Monroe Street School, as it was formerly known) are just heart-broken over the lack of concern for this boarded-up building that was our early source of education. We have tried several times without success to get the college to clean up the site. A glimmer of hope is that the future of this facility has been a part of the West End Transformation Project dialogue. It is our hope that this facility can be restored and become a hub of services and activity.
It’s time for West End supporters to let Livingstone College administrators, bishops of the AME Zion Church and city officials know our patience has worn thin. It’s time for action. We hope the Monroe Street corridor can be restored to its former splendor.
This was written on behalf of the West End Pride Community Group.
— B.B. Sherrill