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Letters to the editor — Monday (10-26-2015)

Community needs youth involvement

My concern is that the youth participation in the community has fallen off over the years. We need to get our youth back on track and more involved in making a difference in life.

What if every Saturday, youth met at a friend’s house and decided things they can do to better the community, such as help others that are less fortunate, plant a garden and create a mural that depicts the values of their community.

Helping the elderly will help the youth learn respect and gain knowledge. Cleaning trash up around the community will help them learn the value of taking care of their community and the importance of picking up after yourself. Helping the less fortunate will teach our youth to appreciate the things that they have and to put others’ needs before your own. Planting a garden will help the youth find a sense of responsibility and pride. The painting of a mural in the community is a way of showing your love and dedication, of coming together to make the community a place where you feel appreciated.

For most youth, volunteering is an extra, something that’s great to do but isn’t absolutely necessary. What they fail to realize is that they are missing out tremendously on an enriching experience that can benefit them not just personally but professionally. Being involved in the community will help them stay out of trouble because they are busy helping make a difference in the community.

I feel having a youth group would teach them structure and discipline so they can grow up to become responsible adults who contribute back to society. That is why our adult peers should push the youth to be more productive in the community.

— D’andre Wilkerson

Salisbury

Karen Alexander a servant leader 

I have great admiration for servant leaders — those who place people and their communities first. As we prepare to vote in November for city council leadership, I want to share my observations about current Councilwoman Karen Alexander. I have known Karen for many years as a business professional, and I have learned a lot about her leadership since 2014 through our shared community service.

We have many challenges in our community. Illiteracy, poverty, crime, race relations, and our slowly recovering economy are recurring themes. Karen is proactively involved in several initiatives that are making an impact on these issues. She opened the first literacy “hot spot” in downtown Salisbury to provide free Internet access and tutoring for Rowan-Salisbury students. She has advocated for other businesses, churches and public spaces to follow this model, and many locations with Wi-Fi access are now available for students throughout Rowan County. In March, I learned that Karen is bilingual when she served as a translator for qualifying patients at the free community dental clinic. Just recently, Karen collaborated with Novant Health Rowan Medical Center to provide gift baskets filled with children’s books and materials for newborns to encourage new parents to read with their children.

Karen has been at the forefront of conversations with citizens and faith leaders concerning the continuing need for respectful and honest dialogue regarding race relations in our community. She has worked quietly and effectively with West End citizens, Cornerstone Church, and Hood Theological Seminary to help our community move forward positively and inclusively. Her voice is one of reason, collaboration, and sincerity.

Karen is an extremely talented and successful entrepreneur. She puts her family first, but she also views Salisbury citizens as her extended family. I hope that you will support her candidacy for Salisbury City Council — she will not disappoint us.

— Jeanie Moore

Salisbury

Todd Paris will make police a priority 

I’ve known Todd Paris for over 20 years. We are both attorneys, and we have had many opportunities at the courthouse to discuss the challenges faced by the City of Salisbury.

Salisbury police officers frequently join in our conversations. One of Todd’s campaign issues has been low moral at the Salisbury Police Department because they are not supported by their management, including the police chief. He has also talked about the poor working relationship between the police and the neighborhoods most affected by crime. What Todd is saying agrees with what I personally have heard the officers at the courthouse say many times.

All of the candidates have talked about the need to bring new jobs and economic development to Salisbury. That is not going to happen unless citizens and business owners have confidence in the police and feel safe in Salisbury; but, none of the incumbents running for re-election have shown any real understanding of the problem. In fact, some candidates have said that the management and operation of the police department is out of their hands. What a stupid thing to say! The City Council directly supervises the city manager, who is certainly responsible for public safety.

When Todd Paris is on the council, police officers will know that we appreciate the danger they face every day for us. Every effort will be made to ensure that they will be well trained, well paid, and well led. Citizens will know that the police are there to protect their lives and property. Vote for Todd Paris for Salisbury City Council!

— Pete Hoffman

Salisbury

Why aren’t more animals adopted?

I have had my eyes opened to a continued problem that does not seem to have a solution, and from what I can see the need is urgent for those that do not have a voice.

From June 2014 through June 2015, 1,434 potentially adoptable animals were euthanized in Rowan County, with 372 total animals adopted, since June of 2014. That number dropped to 369 adopted up to June 2015. For the amount of animals that have been put to sleep in our shelter, to the amount of animals that actually found a home, help came too late.

According to the articles I have read in newspaper, many animal rescue groups are the reason that these adoptions have had more success in the recent year. From my own experience with rescue groups as an adopter, many rescue groups have the word out to animal shelters that if their breed were to come into a shelter, the rescue group is then contacted and given a chance to adopt the animal and then find a loving home for that pet. In some cases, even a mixed breed will be helped; if the need is urgent, they are willing to help out. It is my understanding that these groups are made up of only volunteers who are kind enough to give their time and their hearts to this cause. Without the help from these groups, what is being done to get the word out that there are so many adoptable animals at the shelter?

With approximately 14,500 subscribers to the Salisbury Post, why is it that we only see a pet advertised for adoption every few weeks, only on Saturday? According to WCNC news on July 3, 2015 the one million dollar addition to the shelter is not complete and has other areas of the shelter closed off, which has limited even more space for the animals coming in. As of Sunday, 10.18.2015, construction on this addition is still not complete.

Far too many adoptable animals in Rowan County are being euthanized due to lack of space, and lack of media help in letting the public know that these animals are in dire need of loving homes. If social media has never been used for good before, now is the time for it to save the lives of those who are helpless.

— Erin Simerson

China Grove

Fibrant violations need closer look  

The silence of the Salisbury Post on Fibrant’s “Gun and Run” code violations is deafening. The Rowan Free Press printed the letter from Duke Energy to Salisbury outlining over a thousand code violations that are expected to be fixed on Duke Energy’s utility poles.  Among the attachments to the Rowan Free Press article were invoices showing that the City of Salisbury has paid nearly $200,000 to lawyers regarding the code violations since 2011. Not mere speculation, but proof.

That wonderful, new enterprise is draining our city’s financial resources dry, and more expenses are in sight.  But wait!  The two-hundred grand was paid out of the Water/Sewer fund — spreading the misery to water consumers who don’t even live in Salisbury.  Slush fund expenditures galore!

Where is the Post in coverage of yet another blunder by City Council regarding Fibrant?  Is the “deal” cut to the Salisbury Post for phones and Internet services enough to buy your newspaper’s silence? Inquiring minds want to know!

— Chris Borre

Salisbury

BlockWorks was a great success

I can’t thank the community enough for the amazing turnout at BlockWorks on the 800 and 900 blocks of S. Jackson Street in Chestnut Hill! This neighborhood needed the attention but much more, the community needed the reinforcement that we ARE changing our neighborhood and it CAN be done! Thank you to our wonderful volunteers, volunteers, volunteers (yes it’s worth three mentions) site managers, Lynn Raker, Diana M, the Community Appearance Commission, Housing Advocacy Commission, Community Development Corp., Neighborhood Leaders Alliance, Code Enforcement, Medina Construction, Donors, The City of Salisbury Staff and anyone yet to be mentioned. We can check this great day off as a huge success! Drive by and see the changes and the new pocket park.

Thank you from Chestnut Hill Neighborhood Association, it’s residents and future neighbors.

 — Elysia Demers

Demers is president of the Chestnut Hills Neighborhood Association.

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