Darts & laurels: Spectacular high hopes
Laurels to the volunteers who met last week to ensure Spencer and Salisbury continue having a Christmas parade. After the board of the decades-old Holiday Caravan abruptly quit, local parade lovers were afraid that was it for a local holiday parade. Now people are forming a nonprofit to put on the ’Tis the Season Spectacular, which sounds like more than your routine parade. Tammy Pinkston, who volunteered with Holiday Caravan for nearly three decades, is an important part of the effort. So is Rocky Cabagnot, an attorney and director of the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency. Mayors of both towns are involved, and a small but determined group is coming together — complete with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Despair has turned to hope. Jingle, bells.
Dart to a statistic that surfaced in this week’s report about Salisbury crime from the Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center. First the good news: Reported crimes have decreased by 9 percent in the last eight years for Salisbury Police, the report said. Now the bad: “However, the city remains one of the highest, for crime incidents, among other similar-sized N.C. cities with a rate of 18.3 violent crimes and 47.5 property crimes per 1,000 persons.” Researchers didn’t make dramatic discoveries. In some ways, the report was as ground-breaking as announcing the way to lose weight is to exercise and eat less. The report suggested that police fight crime by working with at-risk youth and targeting repeat offenders, among other things. But its recommendations were actually much more detailed and deserve further study.
Laurel and welcome to the new leadership at the Salisbury office of the Salvation Army. Capts. Janice and Karl Dahlin arrived this summer after serving in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Danville, Va., before that. In Maryland, the Dahlins experienced a bit of the Midas touch when, according to 2016 news reports, someone dropped a gold coin into a Salvation Army red kettle outside a Giant food store in the town of Cabin John. The Canadian collector’s coin had a $50 face value but was worth around $1,300. “Glory to God in the highest and on Earth, peace, goodwill towards men,” said a note wrapped around the coin. That seems like a good sign — certainly a better one than the vandalism the Dahlins found at the Salisbury Salvation Army last month.
Dart to foot-dragging at the state level that has delayed the hiring of school resource officers for Rowan-Salisbury elementary schools. The killing of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., spurred our local school board to OK a spending plan for additional resource officers. The system had to wait to hear from the state before nailing down funding specifics, though, and now it’s too late to hire school resources officers in time for the beginning of school. Schools will not go unprotected, fortunately; the system is filling the gap with off-duty officers. Is this another example of how schools would be better off with less state control?